6.30.2013

#WeWriWa #8Sunday 6.30.13 Snippet Sunday- Weekend Writing Warrior

It's a Sunday thing...



Each Sunday, Weekend Writing Warriors hosts a fun new blog hop. If you would like to participate, link to the list at http://www.wewriwa.com/ and post eight sentences from a published or unpublished work to your blog on Sunday. Follow the same link on Sunday to read excerpts from other authors.


SNIPPET SUNDAY

Each Sunday, fellow writers on the Facebook page, Snippet Sunday, share excerpts from their work on their blogs. To read more follow this link, https://www.facebook.com/groups/SnippetSunday/461163367303186.

This week's eight comes from my paranormal romantic suspense novel Deceptions of the Heart.



http://www.amazon.com/Deceptions-of-the-Heart-ebook/dp/B00D0TAZ12

Heres' the set up...

The woman who has Rhonda's memories and Jennifer's body is attempting to piece together everything she has learned. The thoughts come from Rhonda's psyche.

Here's the eight...

This new bit of information astonished me as I tried to shift all the pieces of the puzzle into place. My last memory is five years old, but Jennifer’s surgery was three years ago. Then…Jennifer had her surgery the same year I died. The timing of the two events was no coincidence. Those two missing years suddenly seemed even more significant. After three years, why is Jennifer suddenly having problems with her memory? What happened to shift her reality from her life to mine? What happened in Jennifer’s three missing years?

Here's the blurb...

Surviving as Jennifer Cristobal isn’t easy for Rhonda Prentiss. Three years ago, a sudden, fatal trauma stripped Rhonda of her middle-class, stay-at-home-mom existence. A brand new shock prompts Rhonda’s essence to invade Jennifer’s soul, suppressing the other woman’s memories and replacing them with her own. When Jennifer’s heart transplant surgeon, Dr. Crane, can’t—or won’t—help her understand her unusual body-swapping dilemma, she turns to the only man she can trust. But can she fully trust Jennifer’s husband, Anson? Rhonda’s memory proves faulty—and sugarcoated. Multiple threats from her past shake her fragile hold on mental stability. If one of her enemies succeeds, he will kill Rhonda’s soul… or Jennifer’s body… or both.

Deceptions of the Heart can be purchased at this link...







6.25.2013

Just One Look, That's All It Took

One of my favorite all time recording artists is Linda Ronstadt. In the song written by Gregory Carroll and Doris Payne, Just One Look, Linda sings about falling so hard after that first look--the very first impression. Here's a YouTube clip of the song.




First impressions are so important, especially in romance. Me and a few friends of mine would like to share some of those first impressions. Okay, maybe some of them are second or third impressions. Okay, okay, some of them are ah-ha moments when the heroine first realizes the man she's ogling might be her new hero. All of them are moments that take the heroine's breath away.

Click on the book cover for the Kindle buy link.

From my book Deceptions of the Heart



Here's the blurb...

Surviving as Jennifer Cristobal isn’t easy for Rhonda Prentiss. Three years ago, a sudden, fatal trauma stripped Rhonda of her middle-class, stay-at-home-mom existence. A brand new shock prompts Rhonda’s essence to invade Jennifer’s soul, suppressing the other woman’s memories and replacing them with her own. When Jennifer’s heart transplant surgeon, Dr. Crane, can’t—or won’t—help her understand her unusual body-swapping dilemma, she turns to the only man she can trust. But can she fully trust Jennifer’s husband, Anson? Rhonda’s memory proves faulty—and sugarcoated. Multiple threats from her past shake her fragile hold on mental stability. If one of her enemies succeeds, he will kill Rhonda’s soul… or Jennifer’s body… or both.


My hands pushed against the tension building in my chest. Sliding over the side of the bed, I held my breath until my bare feet hit the hardwood floor. The splash of running water trickled from behind a closed door. The tension in my chest relaxed. Alex was whistling as he often did in the shower. I crossed the room and nudged the door open, a question hovering on my tongue. Steam shrouded the bath in wisps of billowy white. The rush of water ceased and the shower door popped open. I opened my mouth to speak. Water dripped from his body as he reached for a towel. Above average height. Medium build. Light brown hair. Not Alex.
A scream wedged in the back of my throat.
I whipped my eyes from his nakedness and scanned the room for an escape route. The king-sized bed blocked my path to the bedroom door. I rolled onto the mattress and pulled the soft sheets up to my neck. My breath escaped in huffs and puffs while I tried to steady my nerves.
Perceptions floated through my mind as if I’d been drugged. No broken bones. No aches or pains. No apparent violation.
 If he’s a kidnapper, would he allow me the luxury of sleeping late? No. Wouldn’t I wake up in a dungeon, or under a dark hole on a cold, stone floor. Maybe even on a filthy pallet or a mangy cot?
I checked my wrists. No abrasions from duct tape.
When the man emerged from the bath, I shuttered my eyes, daring to peek from beneath my lashes. He disappeared into a walk-in closet. I pushed up on my elbow. One of my feet dared to peek from beneath the comforter, then the other. Before I could wiggle to the edge of the mattress, he returned to the bedroom and stood in front of the dresser. He sighed as he stared into the mirror, sucked in his gut and released it, then ran his fingers through his hair. I drew first one foot then the other beneath the covers while he buttoned his shirt sleeves and straightened his tie.
He hovered near the bed as I feigned sleep. Poised over me for a horribly long time, he never uttered a word. I stifled a flinch when he brushed the hair from my face. The gentle glide of his fingertips across my cheek sent a shock racing through my limbs. He dragged in a deep, ragged breath and then lifted a suit jacket from a chair. After he shut the door behind him with a near silent swoosh, I lowered the bedcovers from my chin and released the breath I’d been holding.

From Keri Neal's book Flightless

Here's the blurb...

Pen was a Guardian, but one violent night took his wings. Ten years later he is given the opportunity to earn them back.

Jade is spellbound by the new student. Pen is quiet, but she is determined to learn more about him. When her terrifying past comes back to haunt her, Pen reveals there is much more to him than she could have ever imagined.

With his soul on the line, Pen cannot protect Jade if his feelings keep getting in the way. But with Jade’s soul on the line, he must protect her from unearthly forces who want her blood. Will the truth redeem them, or tear them apart?

Pen and I are lounging under a big white umbrella. I am curled up with my head on his chest. His heartbeat is steady and slow, his breathing shallow. He is sleep. I pinch his arm playfully. “You’re going to miss it.”

He takes a deep breath and chuckles. “I’m awake. And I’ve seen my share of sunsets.”

I turn my head and rest my chin on his chest. His eyes are still closed. “You’re a grouch, you know that?”

He opens one eye and stares at me. “You know I’m going to find you. You don’t need to do this.”

My throat burns with emotion. “Yes, I do. You might not make it in time.”

Both his eyes open and stare blankly up at the umbrella. He is angry. His jaw clenches and his nostrils flare.

“It’s almost time.” I crawl up and lie down, straddling him. My blonde hair makes a curtain around us. He looks sad as he reaches up and holds my face.

“I don’t know how to say goodbye to you.”

I smile. The sun is glowing in the horizon. Its resting place comes alive with color. I see it all happen in the reflection in his eyes.

“Yes, you do.” I press my lips against his, urgently stealing every taste of him. I pull his lip through my teeth, and he groans loudly. The sound is erotic. Suddenly his hand is on the back of my head, pulling me roughly against him. His lips are not gentle anymore. They are rough and scaly, like a snake. He is hurting me. I push hard against his chest, only to realize my hands are bound. I start to cry as the sun descends into its salty grave.

From Christine Steendam's book Heart Like an Ocean


Here's the blurb...

In a society where she doesn't belong, Senona Montez, a strong-willed and free-spirited woman refuses to follow the path expected of a Don's only child.

On the eve of her marriage to a stranger, she saddles her horse and flees everything she knows, only to discover the petty concerns of society did not prepare her for the harsh life on the open sea. She finds an unlikely protector in a reckless privateer, Brant Foxton.

Stradling the worlds of independence and privilege in 1600's Europe, this captivating man challenges her in ways she never thought possible, shows her what living to the fullest really means, and allows her to follow her heart wherever it leads.


When Senona awoke the next morning, she was greeted by the sight of a young man with short blonde hair, sitting with an air of superiority. He was intently studying a map laid out on the ornate desk situated in the center of the room.

“Welcome to the land of the living,” said the man, without so much as a glance up from his map.

“Senor, may I ask where the Captain is?” she asked.

“Captain Brant Foxton at your service,” he said with a smirk, this time rewarding her with his undivided attention.

Standing up, she drew herself to her full height. “So you are the man responsible for my abduction. What do you plan to do with me, Captain? Sell me as a slave? And where is my horse? You owe me an explanation for how I was treated last night.”

She squared her five-foot-five body, waiting for his response. She could see him looking her over and his lips pressed together in a smirk. “Yes, yes you would bring me a tidy sum on the black market. I know a few men off Tortuga who would be more than willing to take you, but that is not what I have in mind. Old Richard, however, the ‘oh so kind’ Captain whom you purchased passage from had just that in mind. He is most likely sitting in Barcelona right now very upset that the young Senorita did not show up. Though I am sure he has spent your doubloons quite frivolously already. Aside from that, I can assure you that your stallion is safe and content below deck.”

“Captain Richard and I had a business deal. I don’t know what made you think his intentions were anything less than pure when you are much more suspicious in my mind. Only the most diabolical man abducts and that is-”


Brant cut her off sharply. “Stop right there, Miss. I am a man of honor, which may be hard for you to believe seeing as what I put you through last night, but I will not have my character questioned by a girl who has barely seen eighteen years and hasn’t sullied her ears with even the maid’s gossip. Old Richard would never have brought you to Port Royale. I will. That is a fact and I urge you to accept it.”

From Lisa J. Hobman's book Bridge Over the Atlantic


Here's the blurb...

Mallory Westerman is a full-figured, successful, young business woman living in Yorkshire, England. Though very career minded, she is extremely self-conscious about her ample curves and so her love life tends to pay the price.

Concentrating solely on her business, she has almost given up on finding someone to love. That is until she literally trips into the arms of a stranger who becomes her Knight in shining armour.

The immediate sexual and romantic spark that blossoms into love and the events that follow, irrevocably change Mallory’s life-path and self-image forever, but only go to prove that the road to true love is never smooth and that things don’t always turn out how you expect…

With Ruby tucked firmly under her arm she strolled over to the bar.  A couple sitting in the corner were chatting quietly and eating a rather delicious looking meal.  Mallory began to salivate as her senses were bombarded with both savoury and sweet aromas.  No, I’ll wait for Sam, she chastised herself.  An elderly gent sat at the bar drinking a pint of beer and reading a newspaper.  Mallory smiled kindly and he returned her smile with a nod. 

Eventually the bar tender came through from a back room, drying a glass with a tea towel and holding it up to the light to inspect it before sliding it back onto a shelf above his head.  He was a tall man; broad and muscular with fairly long, shaggy hair which was almost black except for a slight smattering of grey.  He had a goatee beard which also showed signs of age but this was contradicted by his youthful face.  He was ruggedly handsome and tanned.  Mallory felt quite taken aback by how appealing this man was to look at.  I’m only looking; she smiled to herself but then shook her head to rid her mind of such thoughts as the man looked up, hesitated and then came over.  He leaned on the bar in front of her and stared right through her with dark brown eyes that almost matched the colour of his hair in the dim lighting of the pub.

“What can I get you?”  He almost growled in a strong, Scottish accent.  She felt a little as though perhaps her being here was an inconvenience to him, somehow.

“Erm…Can I just have a diet cola please?”  She whispered feeling like the request was almost definitely unreasonable judging by this man’s surly demeanour.  Who was she to order a beverage in a public house for heaven’s sake?  He didn’t answer.  Turning away from her he walked over and picked up a glass.  She noticed his sculpted forearms as he placed the glass under the tap and drew down the dark brown, fizzing liquid, keeping the glass slightly tilted. 

He was wearing a fitted grey V-neck T-shirt and black jeans.  Around his neck was a tight black cord necklace with a stone pendant which sat close to his throat.  The pendant appeared to have some kind of image carved into it but she couldn’t quite make it out.  Peeking out from under his sleeve was the jagged edge of a tattoo which looked rather like barbed wire.

He brought the drink back over to her and plonked it on the mat in front of her, spilling some of the contents as he did so.  What was his problem?

“One eighty.”  He stated.  She handed over an English five pound note which seemed to disgruntle him further.  He handed her the change and went back to polishing glasses. 

6.16.2013

#WeWriWa #8Sunday Snippet Sunday- Weekend Writing Warrior 6.16.13

It's a Sunday thing...



Each Sunday, Weekend Writing Warriors hosts a fun new blog hop. If you would like to participate, link to the list at http://www.wewriwa.com/ and post eight sentences from a published or unpublished work to your blog on Sunday. Follow the same link on Sunday to read excerpts from other authors.


SNIPPET SUNDAY

Each Sunday, fellow writers on the Facebook page, Snippet Sunday, share excerpts from their work on their blogs. To read more follow this link, https://www.facebook.com/groups/SnippetSunday/461163367303186.

This week's eight comes from my paranormal romantic suspense novel Deceptions of the Heart.



http://www.amazon.com/Deceptions-of-the-Heart-ebook/dp/B00D0TAZ12

Heres' the set up...

Rhennifer (Rhonda/Jennifer) has flown to California to confront Rhonda's husband, Alex, and ask him for help to understand why she is in another woman's body. When the visit adds more questions than answers to her problem, she rushes away from Alex's house in anger and goes to visit Jennifer's heart surgeon, Dr. Crane. In this scene, Rhennifer has questioned Crane, thinking he can explain her memory problems. Perhaps she has experienced a phenomena known as cellular memory transfer. Alex busts into Crane's office where Crane has just told Rhennifer she needs to see a psychiatrist. This is what Alex says...


“I don’t understand it, but I know she has Rhonda’s memories. She told me things only Rhonda would know. She talks like Rhonda and she acts like Rhonda. I feel…I sense Rhonda’s persona in this woman I don’t recognize. Whoever she is, she needs help to cope with this.” His fingers pinched my shoulder a little more with each word. His statements echoed around the small office. Yet somehow the recitation of what he believed sounded stilted, as if he’d rehearsed what he should say.

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt of Deceptions of the Heart. If you would like to read more, the book can be purchased at the following link

6.12.2013

#CoverReveal - The End from @dmoncrief0131 and @5PrincePub

Gotta admit it! I am super, super excited. Here's the cover for my next book set to release September 5th from 5 Prince Publishing!



Almost a year after her husband dies, Ellie Marston opens the file for Tab’s last manuscript, a thriller so compelling it reads like a true story. His manuscript needs an ending, so Ellie writes the obvious conclusion. The same morning she types The End, her career as an assistant district attorney falls apart. Accused of throwing the high profile Patterson case, she resigns in disgrace. The only friend she has left in the criminal justice system is Det. Paul Santiago, a man she has worked closely with on numerous cases. While she was married to Tab, she squashed her growing feelings for Paul, determined to make her deteriorating marriage work, but circumstances after Tab’s death bring Ellie and Paul together.

Ellie’s paranoia increases as she becomes convinced Patterson is harassing her, certain that someone is searching her belongings for any hidden evidence she might have that would reopen his case. It becomes clear there was a conspiracy to release Patterson. She seeks help from her former co-worker, Presley Sinclair, but soon discovers Presley is deeply involved in the subsequent cover up. Worse yet, Tab’s affair with Presley drew him into the twisted conspiracy as well.
  
As Paul and Ellie attempt to uncover the conspiracy in the District Attorney’s office, the set up that forced her to resign. The key to the mystery is hidden in the pages of Tab’s manuscript. Once Paul and Ellie come to the correct conclusion—Tab’s manuscript is a true story and Ellie’s added ending is the only logical outcome—Ellie attempts to reveal Patterson’s hidden partner in the District Attorney’s office, but the co-conspirator she uncovers is not whom she suspects. Danger swirls around her as she steps further and further into the conspirator’s trap.

6.08.2013

#WeWriWa #8Sunday Weekend Writing Warriors 06.09.13

It's a Sunday thing...



Each Sunday, Weekend Writing Warriors hosts a fun new blog hop. If you would like to participate, link to the list at http://www.wewriwa.com/ and post eight sentences from a published or unpublished work to your blog on Sunday. Follow the same link on Sunday to read excerpts from other authors.

This week's eight comes from my paranormal romantic suspense novel Deceptions of the Heart.




Here's the set up...

Let's call her Rhennifer (a combo of the two names, Rhonda and Jennifer). Rhennifer has just had a visit for a man she refers to as Dr. Hollywood. The doctor just might be the most gorgeous man she's ever met. She wonders just what kind of relationship Jennifer has with the handsome doctor. He admonishes her for not taking her medications and she speculates what kind of drugs she's supposed to be taking and if that is what her caretaker is giving her. After he leaves, her caretaker reenters the room and pushes her to take her medication and eat her breakfast.

Here's the eight sentences...

I reached for the glass of water on the silver breakfast tray. Before the first sip passed my lips, I paused, unsure if it was safe to drink. I wasn’t sure whom I could trust. Maybe the housekeeper was trying to kill Jennifer. Maybe everyone in her life was trying to kill her. Maybe that’s why she stole someone else’s memories. Maybe I didn’t inhabit her body so much as she overtook my soul. Was Jennifer’s life so horrible? 

Here's the blurb...


Surviving as Jennifer Cristobal isn’t easy for Rhonda Prentiss. Three years ago, a sudden, fatal trauma stripped Rhonda of her middle-class, stay-at-home-mom existence. A brand new shock prompts Rhonda’s essence to invade Jennifer’s soul, suppressing the other woman’s memories and replacing them with her own. When Jennifer’s heart transplant surgeon, Dr. Crane, can’t—or won’t—help her understand her unusual body-swapping dilemma, she turns to the only man she can trust. But can she fully trust Jennifer’s husband, Anson? Rhonda’s memory proves faulty—and sugarcoated. Multiple threats from her past shake her fragile hold on mental stability. If one of her enemies succeeds, he will kill Rhonda’s soul… or Jennifer’s body… or both.

If you enjoyed this snippet from Deceptions of the Heart, please consider purchasing a copy at the following link...




6.06.2013

Surviving the One Star Review

This one punched me in the gut. You know, like the scenarios in that commercial for insurance. Life comes at you fast. My first one star review knocked me on my butt. Although I never cried, I indulged in a pity party for a few days.

Does this mean I’m a real writer now? I didn’t think my book garnered enough attention to elicit such a negative response from a reviewer, especially a fellow author. Why would one author so thoroughly reject another author? We all know how difficult it is to take rejection. We’ve all been there. So why the harsh review? Why post the review on every social media site available? If I read a book that, in my opinion, is poorly written, I will decline to post my thoughts publicly out of respect for my fellow author.

The book never reached the New York Times Best Seller list. Heck, it’s never even reached the Amazon Best Seller list. The topic isn’t controversial. Yes, the book has some flaws. What book doesn’t? There is no such thing as the perfect book. If I had to do it over again, I’d adjust a few things. But then… I’ve learned a lot from being edited and from being an editor.

I had some concerns. How would this extremely negative review impact my sales? My reputation as a writer and an editor? My chances of ever signing a contract with an agent? My motivation to continue writing? My courage to request more reviews?

From this negative experience, I’d like to share a few thoughts that might help other authors survive the one star review with dignity and class and just maybe give some reviewers a few hints about writing a credible review.

Some advice for writers.


It is far more beneficial to the up and coming author to form alliances with other writers than to make enemies.

I’m going to admit it. My first reaction was the impulse to seek revenge. Retaliating would have accomplished nothing except to start a war, and from my personal experience, revenge is an empty pursuit and offers fleeting satisfaction. Revenge, anger, and hatred are bitter poison pills one swallows with the futile hope of injuring someone else. It is far better to avoid Negative Nancy than to engage her in useless debate over the merits of her review.

Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

I remember when my eleventh grade American History teacher told me I was entitled to my own opinions. What a revelation. I’ve been opinionated ever since! One harsh review is one person’s opinion. The opinion might have merit and it might not. A series of critical reviews all commenting on the same flaw deserves more attention from the author than a single negative review. What have I learned from my reviews? I know now that subtleties are lost on some people. I need to be obvious about how I close my suspense plotlines, especially in complicated plots with several different threads pulling together near the end of the book.

A good agent considers an author’s entire brand.

A writer friend had some great advice. Would I really want an agent that would reject me based on one negative review? If I ever make it to the NYT Best Seller list, I’m likely to get tons of negative reviews. In the long run, one bad review means nothing. I’m going to continue to write no matter what.

One negative review doesn’t impact sales.

My sales actually jumped a bit right after the review posted. Go figure that one! :) So I’m moving on. And…my book could use a few more reviews. Play nice…please. From everything I’ve researched, read, and observed, writers with multiple works published by the same publisher generate more sales than writers with a ton of 5 star reviews. I am going to admit it. I want my books to sell, not because I anticipate getting rich, but simply because I want others to read my work. There is no greater thrill for this writer than when a fan asks when my next book will be released.

Some advice for reviewers.


If you haven’t read the book, please don’t write a review.

Writers work too hard requesting reviews to receive a bogus review. I love it when it’s obvious the reviewer actually read my work. I don’t put much stock in a review if it’s questionable the reviewer ever opened the book. I’ve read so many reviews that appear to be generated from review services, not legitimate reviewers. $5 for 5 great reviews reads just like what it is. You get what you pay for. Most savvy readers can tell the difference.

When reviewing someone’s baby, please be aware there is a person behind the work, a person who may not take rejection well. 

As a writer, an editor, and a member of critique groups, I’ve reviewed other people’s work for years. The old adage works here. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. The “sandwich” review helps take the sting out of critical comments. Layer one—say something nice. Layer two—discuss the plotline. Layer three—make your critical comments. And I do mean critical, not mean-spirited. Layer four—say something nice.

Slamming a fellow author’s work doesn’t increase your book’s chances of climbing the best seller charts.

This type of competition is petty and wasted effort. With tons of aspiring authors out there vying for attention, dissing a fellow author accomplishes absolutely nothing. Slamming another author reveals lack of knowledge about how the publishing industry works and tarnishes the shine on the author-reviewer’s own brand.


Thankfully, I survived this experience, but not without going through the five stages of grief. I learned a lot in the process, and hopefully it has made me a better, more aware writer.

6.03.2013

South Louisiana Inspiration

Just a few pictures to inspire my next novel.



The Myrtles



Nottaway



Magnolia Plantation


Chretien Point Plantation

All photos are in the public domain, courtesy of wiki commons.

6.02.2013

#WeWriWa #8Sunday Weekend Writing Warrior - 06.02.13

It's a Sunday thing...



Each Sunday, Weekend Writing Warriors hosts a fun new blog hop. If you would like to participate, link to the list at http://www.wewriwa.com/ and post eight sentences from a published or unpublished work to your blog on Sunday. Follow the same link on Sunday to read excerpts from other authors.

My eight for this week comes from Deceptions of the Heart, now available on Kindle from The Wild Rose Press.





Here's the set up. Rhonda, who is now inhabiting Jennifer's body, sits down to eat her first meal with Jennifer's husband, Anson. She has learned a lot about Jennifer and the people in her life by this point in the story. She doesn't know how to address her unusual dilemma or whether she can trust Anson. As she contemplates Jennifer's husband sitting across the table from her, she recounts all the people she has encountered who hold Jennifer in contempt.

Here's the excerpt.


What kind of woman was Jennifer Cristobal?
Sudha barely conceals her disrespect toward Jennifer. Price Whitaker pretends he’s had enough of Jennifer’s antics. Marnie hates her because she suspects Jennifer is cheating on Anson with Price. Sairs holds some sort of grudge against her. And Anson…why doesn’t he want her to go to California? No one says what they mean or means what they say. I’m surrounded by people that don’t trust her and I can’t trust any of them.

Here's the blurb.

Surviving as Jennifer Cristobal isn’t easy for Rhonda Prentiss. Three years ago, a sudden, fatal trauma stripped Rhonda of her middle-class, stay-at-home-mom existence. A brand new shock prompts Rhonda’s essence to invade Jennifer’s soul, suppressing the other woman’s memories and replacing them with her own. When Jennifer’s heart transplant surgeon, Dr. Crane, can’t—or won’t—help her understand her unusual body-swapping dilemma, she turns to the only man she can trust. But can she fully trust Jennifer’s husband, Anson? Rhonda’s memory proves faulty—and sugarcoated. Multiple threats from her past shake her fragile hold on mental stability. If one of her enemies succeeds, he will kill Rhonda’s soul… or Jennifer’s body… or both.

I hope you enjoyed the snippet of Deceptions of the Heart. The book is now available from The Wild Rose Press on Kindle at 

http://www.amazon.com/Deceptions-of-the-Heart-ebook/dp/B00D0TAZ12
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