Tuesday, May 31, 2022

A naughty cat reveals a mystery – #NewRelease #Giveaway #MFRWHooks

Incognito Cover

This past Monday was release day for my taboo erotic romance novel Incognito. I’m celebrating with an exclusive (PG) excerpt today – plus a giveaway where you can win a $10 gift certificate or free books. Read to the end for the details, and for links to all the other authors participating in this week’s Book Hooks blog hop.

Brief Blurb

Shy and serious by day—insatiable by night.

During the day, Miranda Cahill works diligently on her doctoral thesis. At night, she has sex with strangers. Her secret life explodes when she realizes her masked partner at a kink club and the charismatic colleague courting her are in fact the same person – the one man who can teach her to accept her diverse desires, as well as to trust her heart.


The Hook

She took her plate and a glass of white wine back to her desk, where the brass lamp made a warm pool of gold in the darkened room. A mild night breeze ruffled the drapes and whispered in the corners, fragrant with spring. Intoxicating. Voices soft in the alley, the creak of a door hinge, the distant wail of a saxophone—the city breathed outside her window, full of mystery.

Miranda felt alert, wired, electricity in her veins. She ate thoughtfully, pondering her actions and feelings over the past few days. I thought that I knew myself, knew what I wanted, knew what was important, she mused. Now everything is unclear, everything except this lust, which blazes up in me without warning.

She had an inspiration. Perhaps she should write about it, record her feelings and experiences, externalize it all. Through most of her childhood and adolescence, she had kept a journal, using it as a mirror to confront her fears and her desires. Only after Geoffrey left her had she stopped. It was just too painful to write and to remember.

Miranda recalled the leather-bound Victorian diary. Perfect. The irony somehow pleased her—a modern student of Victorian excess using the historic journal to chronicle her own lustful explorations. She retrieved the diary from her desk drawer, located her fountain pen, opened the volume to the first page.

The blank, velvety parchment invited her. Confide in me. Trust me with your secrets.

How should she begin, though? Miranda sat for a long time, pen poised over the paper, reviewing the events and emotions of the last few days. Heathcliff sat on the corner of her desk, fixing her with his typical unblinking stare.

Miranda ignored the feline, her eyes focused inward. Heathcliff’s gaze became a challenge. Still, she did not respond. Deliberately, the cat reached out a striped paw toward her wine glass. With the graceful economy of motion typical of his species, he nudged at the stem, just enough to send a torrent of Pinot Grigio spilling over the desk and diary.

Heathcliff!” Miranda sprang from her seat to avoid being drenched with wine herself. “Bad cat!” She rushed to get a towel to sop up the moisture. “Oh, Heathcliff,” she said reproachfully, “how could you?”

The cat curled up on the corner of the desk, looking not the least chagrined. Meanwhile, the diary, though wet through, did not appear to be damaged. Miranda arranged it under the lamp, hoping that the heat from the incandescent bulb would help to dry the pages, and went out to the kitchen to wash her hands and refill her glass.

She returned to a marvel. The cream-colored pages baking in the lamplight were no longer blank. Even as she watched, writing darkened and became more distinct.

The hand was even, ornate, old-fashioned. And definitely feminine. Miranda could hardly breathe with the excitement. Someone else had confided in this diary, someone so chary of her secrets that she used disappearing ink for her confessions. As Miranda watched, the date at top of the page became clear.

June 12, 1886

I scarcely know how to commence this account of my adventures and my sins. Indeed, I do not fully understand why I feel compelled to commit these things to writing. Clearly, my purpose is not to review and relive these experiences in the future, for in twenty minutes’ time these sentences will be invisible even to me. Perhaps in the years ahead, I will trail my fingers across the empty parchment, colored like flesh, and the memories will come alive without the words, coaxed from the pages by my touch like flames bursting from cold embers.

I have a secret life, another self, and that secret has become a burden that I clutch to myself, and yet would be relieved of. So, like the Japanese who write their deepest desires on slips of rice paper and then burn them, I write of secret joys and yearnings, and send that writing into oblivion.


Buy Links

Kinky Literature: https://www.kinkyliterature.com/book/362-incognito-secret-lives-forbidden-loves

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B1N7CTMQ

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0B1N7CTMQ

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/2940165857058

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1147874

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/incognito-secret-lives-forbidden-loves

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61138791-incognito


Win a $10 bookstore GC or free books in my INCOGNITO giveaway. Contest runs from June 1 to June 15.

To enter, do any or all of the following. (Each action is one entry.)

o Join my VIP email list: 


o Follow me on BookBub:  


o Email me, telling me what book of mine you’d like to read: 


On June 16th, I will randomly select one grand-prize winner who’ll get a $10 gift certificate, plus two runner-ups who can choose any ebook from my indie back list.

Check out the other authors joining today’s Book Hooks!

Monday, May 30, 2022

Review Tuesday: A Room in Blake’s Folly by J. Arlene Culiner – #HistoricalRomance #Genealogy #ReviewTuesday

A Room in Blake's Folly cover

In 1889, in the bustling silver boom town of Blake’s Folly, Nevada, a restless, dapper newspaperman falls for the courageous, self-sufficient woman who plays piano for the dance girls at the rowdy Mizpah Saloon.

In 1926, with the silver mostly tapped out, the elegant madam of the town’s biggest brothel charms a wealthy gentleman, despite her checkered past.

In 1948, though Blake’s Folly has become a run-down backwater, it offers a refuge for a beautiful Russian widow fleeing post-war exploitation and abuse.

In 1972, in 2021, in 2022, as Blake’s Folly drifts toward becoming a ghost town lost in the harsh Nevada desert, it still harbors a collection of misfits, contrarians and old timers. A twisted thread of love weaves backward through the decades, binding today’s inhabitants to the past generations whose memories haunt the old saloon where silver once reigned.

J. Arlene Culiner’s original historical novel A Room in Blake’s Folly is a delight. Through research or intuition (probably a combination of both), she manages to bring each era in Blake’s Folly to life, both via language and through period detail.

The book is not exactly a romance, but rather a chain of romances. In each episode, there’s the possibility for love. Not everyone, however, finds a happy ending.

Her characters are distinctive individuals, many of whom are somewhat at odds with society – outcasts, outsiders, and survivors. They are often, but not always sympathetic. Complex family connections bind the protagonists in each period to the past occupants of Blake’s Folly; however, the author avoids the narrative trap of making every descendant worthy of admiration.

Indeed, as the episodes move closer to the present, there’s some suggestion that modern technology and social mores have eroded people’s strength and independence, so critical for survival in the early days of the town. The handful of souls who stubbornly cling to their lives in Blake’s Folly buck this trend. They’re determined to make their own decisions and fight for the dusty, run-down settlement they call home.

A Room in Blake’s Folly is a skillfully crafted tale about love and chance, history and family. I recommend it highly.


Sunday, May 29, 2022

War in Paradise – #SweetRomance #KeyWest #Pirates #HistoricalRomance @AlexanderLyndi

pirate ship

By Alana Lorens (Guest Blogger)

Thanks to Lisabet for hosting me today to talk about PROPHECIES AND PROMISES. It’s my first published historical romance and my 25th book in print!

I’m especially excited to be able to write about Key West, and the Florida Keys in general, because it’s one of my favorite places in the whole country. For 13 years, I lived in Homestead and Florida City, which are the last two towns just before you head onto Key Largo, which is the first Key in the chain. This meant we could take weekends and go camping along the islands, tiptoeing through the mangroves, laying on the beautiful beaches—so I know the place. It’s heavenly.

I even honeymooned there once!

Seems to me, it would be a beautiful place to fall in love. That’s where our story comes from. Tamsyn has her share of moonlit nights under the whispering palms, dreaming of the man who might be hers, Or men, And that’s the problem.

I also wanted to find a time in history that interesting things would be happening. None seemed more exciting than the war for independence that Cuba fought against Spain at the turn of the 20th century. Key West was a crucial place in the war once America got dragged in—while Key West is 160 miles from Miami, it’s only 90 miles from Cuba—and so the city became a launching point for troops, etc., being sent to help Cuba. Certainly this impacts the characters in this story in many ways.

Thanks for visiting the blog, and I hope you enjoy the book!


Tamsyn McKiernan thinks her dreams have come true. She’s engaged to a dashing Key West bachelor and finally in her widowed father’s good graces. But in her heart, she knows something’s wrong. She loves the ocean and the quiet pleasures of nature—so what does the aristocratic life she’ll lead truly hold for her?

Mercenary captain Drake Ashton is neck deep in preparations for the Spanish-American War, running guns and other supplies to Cuban natives who want out from under their Spanish masters. He and his brother Freddie risk their lives daily, focused on saving his friends on the island. Nothing else matters but his mission.

A chance encounter with a spiny sea urchin brings the two together, and neither of their lives will ever be the same again.


The wine would go straight to her head soon, she knew from previous, infrequent consumption, so she must sip it slowly. One of them had to keep their wits.

She felt the curious eyes of the crew, some shy, others bolder in their observation. Tamsyn smiled at them all. One broad, bullish man came forward with a blanket, which he spread on the deck. Drake clapped the man on the shoulder.

Good thinking, Chaney. A picnic it will be!” He gestured to Tamsyn that she should seat herself, which she did without hesitation.

Within a few minutes, trays of food came up from belowdecks, chicken spit broiled with crispy skins, fruits and cheeses, Bahamian bread with a thick slab of butter. The men vied for the opportunity to serve her until Drake finally dismissed them with a laugh.

Cook has enough for all below. Go take your supper. We may have some business awaiting us yet tonight.”

The men cheered and noisily went down to eat. The skinny cabin boy remained to serve his captain. Drake saw that the boy got a plate of food, then sent him away. “A few moments alone,” he whispered conspiratorially.

Just a few,” she said with a sad smile. “Then I must—”

Drake held up a finger, silencing her. “Not a word of that now.”

Tamsyn started to argue, then realized he would just cut her off again. It was right. What might happen in a minute, in an hour, would not be changed if she took the time to immerse herself in the joy and comfort of this time with Drake.

The food smelled so good in the fresh night air, and Drake urged her to taste everything, from sweet melons to spicy chicken. It was simple fare, but it satisfied her more than any of the expensive delicacies that had been served at the Pickhams’ buffet. Surely it is the company which has improved my appetite. Drake’s dark eyes danced in the moonlight, and he often turned to her with a smile, perhaps wanting to say something but reluctant to break the spell they seemed to be under.

But not yet, Mamma, not yet…Can you see me, Mamma? Tamsyn wondered silently. Can you see how happy I am?

Buy Links


Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Prophecies-Promises-Alana-Lorens-ebook/dp/B09THTHV6H/


Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Prophecies-Promises-Alana-Lorens/dp/1509241442

BN: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/prophecies-and-promises-alana-lorens/1141068092?ean=9781509241446

Wild Rose Press: https://shop.aer.io/TheWildRosePress/p/Prophecies_and_Promises/9781509241446-11180?ni=true

About the Author

Alana Lorens has been a published writer for more than forty years. Currently a resident of Asheville, North Carolina, the aging hippie loves her time in the smoky blue mountains. One of her novellas, THAT GIRL’S THE ONE I LOVE,is set in the city of Asheville during the old Bele Chere festival. She lives with her daughter on the autism spectrum, who is the youngest of her seven children, and she is ruled by three crotchety old cats, and six kittens of various ages.

Author Links

Website      http://Alana-lorens.com

Facebook   https://www.facebook.com/AlanaLorens/

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Charity Sunday: For Love of Reading -- #freebooks #ProjectGutenberg #CharitySunday #Giveaway

Charity Sunday banner

Do you like to read?

Silly question, I know. The last time I surveyed the people on my VIP email list, asking how many books they read per month, I had some people tell me 30 or more!

So, do you know about Project Gutenberg?

Project Gutenberg is a volunteer effort that digitizes and distributes free ebooks, in English and other languages. You can read about its history here. Founded by author Michael S. Hart in 1971, it is the world’s oldest digital library. The goal of the project is to make public domain works, especially literary classics, available to as wide an audience as possible. Currently the project offers more than 60,000 titles. You can search by author or title, go see the recently added books, or use the categorized listing.

Search for “erotic” or “romance”. You’ll find hundreds if not thousands of titles. Gutenberg’s also a fabulous source for non-English ebooks in a wide range of languages.

Browsing the catalog can be great fun. You never know what gems you will discover. It’s also a great source for classic books you somehow never read. Although many of the books are older titles, in the public domain, some contemporary authors choose to make their work available through Gutenberg for personal or philosophical reasons. In fact my will specifies that all my titles should be donated to Gutenberg after I die. I don’t have anyone who’d be interested in managing my catalogue, and I really like the idea that (hopefully) for decades into the future, anyone who want can read my stories.

You can download books in many formats - not only PDF, EPUB and Kindle formats but in many cases, plain HTML and text versions as well. So you don’t need an ereader to take advantage of its riches.

Project Gutenberg is staffed by volunteers, but needs funds for computing resources, professional services and so on. So today, I’m running a Charity Sunday for the project. If you love reading, leave me a comment. I’ll donate two dollars to the project for each comment I receive.

Keeping to the bookish theme, my excerpt for today comes from Incognito, my taboo erotic romance which will be re-released tomorrow. Miranda Cahill, the heroine, is working on her Ph.D. in literature. Her thesis topic? Victorian erotica!

Just to sweeten the pot today, I’ll give away a copy of the newly-edited version of this novel to one of you who comments.


A knock on her office door brought Miranda back to the here and now. She had been lost, uncharacteristically, in the manuscript, a classic piece from the collection of the British Museum. There were no annotations, no commentary, on the photocopied pages. Her laptop, neglected, had turned itself off to save power. She sighed and shook her head as if to clear away the lascivious images.

Come in,” she called, wondering who it could be. She often worked on Saturdays, precisely because the department was deserted and she could read and write undisturbed.

The grizzled head of Harold Scofield poked through the door. “Hello, Miranda. I am sorry to intrude, but I have someone to whom I would like to introduce you.” Miranda smiled to herself; her genial thesis advisor always sounded like a grammar textbook. The gray-bearded figure in suspenders bustled in, followed by an attractive young man in dark-framed eyeglasses.

Miranda, I would like to present Mark Anderson, our new lecturer. Mark will be handling the Dickens course for the summer session.”

Mark, this is Miranda Cahill, my most promising graduate student.” Miranda blushed, and Dr. Scofield’s eyes twinkled. “Miranda has chosen a rather controversial topic for her thesis, a new interpretation of the corpus of Victorian erotica.”

The newcomer’s polite smile expanded to a grin. “Really. That’s fascinating. Sounds far more—stimulating—than my dissertation on the metaphorical significance of orphans in Dickens and his contemporaries.”

Miranda’s blush deepened as she noted the double entendre. She met his teasing gaze, almost defiantly. “Yes, it is an intriguing topic, and I believe one of considerable literary and social significance, as well.” He had thick, dark hair, slightly tousled. His eyes behind the glasses were velvety brown with glints of gold. In his face, she saw intelligence, energy, and humor.

Miranda has championed an unusual theory, that the explosion of sexually-oriented writing during the latter half of the nineteenth century was a reflection of actual practices, rather than a reaction against repressive public morals.” Her advisor appeared to be enjoying the role of agent provocateur. “She believes that the detailed accounts of sexual adventure and aberration published during the era chronicled real experiences, not merely fantasies.”

Hmm.” Their bespectacled companion looked both amused and interested. “What evidence do you have to support this proposition?”

Well, to begin with,” said Miranda, automatically adopting an academic tone, “a significant fraction of these writings are first person accounts. And a surprising number are related from a woman’s perspective. If this were primarily a literature of fantasy and titillation, I would expect a male point-of-view to dominate, as it does in modern pornography.” Miranda was encouraged to see that her audience listened attentively and gave due consideration to her points.

Secondly, these tales are full of real-world details and commentary that would be superfluous and even distracting in fictional erotica. The protagonists discuss social issues such as poverty, child abuse, oppression of the lower classes, things that can only detract from a work intended as escapist fantasy. Even a hack pornographer knows better than to mention the unpleasant or the mundane, illegitimate pregnancies, unpaid bills, rising damp. Yet references to such items are common in the corpus.

Finally, I find in many of these writings a thoughtfulness that conflicts with the conventions of the pornographic genre. The narrators are engaged in a wide variety of sexual activities, which are described in vivid and provocative detail. At the same time, in many cases, they reflect on their own desires and behaviors, sometimes justifying themselves in the face of the official morality, sometimes castigating themselves for weakness and sinfulness. Either way, there is a psychological depth that would be redundant in fictional erotica.”

So, what you are saying,” interposed Mark with a grin, “is that a fictional character would simply go ahead and bugger his maid, whereas an individual writing a clandestine diary would spend some time and effort wondering why he wanted to bugger his maid, before he got around to actually doing it?”

No, no, that’s not it at all!” Miranda, embarrassed and flustered, wondered if the new instructor had been reading her manuscript over her shoulder. Her eyes flashed. “You’re not willing to take me seriously, any more than the submission review committee for the Association for Modern Literature!”

Now, Miranda,” soothed her advisor. “Mark was just teasing you.” Looking again at the attractive stranger, Miranda saw that Scofield was telling the truth.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you.” Mark held out his hand like a peace offering. “I really am delighted to meet you. Your theory is unconventional and provocative, but who knows, it might actually be true.”

His skin was cool and dry, the pressure of his fingers firm and confident.

Let me take you out for coffee, and you can tell me more about what your research has turned up thus far.” As he released her hand, he brushed his fingers lightly against her palm.

The secret, sensual gesture terrified her. Miranda found herself reacting as she so often did in the presence of a man who desired her. She felt herself tense, contract, her fears and uncertainties condensing into a dense, cold knot under her solar plexus. Her face was stiff and wooden as she tried to smile. “Thank you, but I can’t right now. I have an incredible amount of work to get done.”

Diligent, industrious Miranda,” her advisor scolded her lightly. “You need to take more time for yourself. It is Saturday, after all.”

Thanks, but I need to work harder. I need more evidence to support my theory. Deeper study, of a larger number of texts.”

Please…” Mark began, disappointment plain in his voice. Then he saw clearly that she would not be swayed. “Well, maybe another time.” He smiled so warmly that the icy knot thawed slightly. “I’d definitely like to get to know you better, Miranda.”

Be sure to leave a comment. Help support the world’s largest digital library – and enter to win a copy of the new book!

Character Interview: Garrett Saunders – #99Cents #Veteran #CharacterInterview @JanaRichards_

To Heal a Heart cover

By Jana Richards (Guest Blogger)

I talked Garrett Saunders, my hero in TO HEAL A HEART, into sitting down for an interview with me, though he wasn’t thrilled about the idea. But don’t hold his snarly attitude against him. He has a lot to deal with, the biggest issue being his relationship with Blair Greyson. Garrett is loyal and trustworthy, a good son, brother and friend. But life’s been hard the last couple of years and he’d trying to find his place in it again. Enjoy Garrett’s interview!

Jana Richards: Thank you for agreeing to do this interview, Garrett.

Garrett Saunders: How long will it take?

JR: Why? Do you have somewhere pressing to go?

GS: I have work to do. Can we just get on with it?

JR: Of course. So, tell me about coming home to North Dakota.

GS: I didn’t think I’d ever come back here. When I joined the marines at eighteen, I wanted to see the world and do exciting things. (chuckles) Be careful what you wish for.

JR: Are you happy to be home?

GS: Sure. I’m glad to be close to my family again. It’s good to connect with my sisters and be part of their lives again. I’m not as happy about having to live with my Mom and Dad and sleep in my childhood bedroom. I’ve been looking for a place of my own.

JR: Oh really? What kind of place are you looking for?

GS: I’ve put offers on two farms so far. I was outbid on the first one, and the second, Everett Branson’s farm, was taken off the market.

JR: That was because Blair Greyson came to live with her grandfather, wasn’t it? How do you feel about that?

GS: (shrugs) I was pissed at first, but honestly, I’m not sure I’d know what to do with all that land. I’ve never been a farmer and I’ve never wanted to be one.

JR: So why did you try to buy two different farms?

GS: I need a place of my own. I thought if I bought land, and perhaps rented it to other farmers or ranchers, it would give me an income, and the time I need to figure things out.

JR: Like what? What do you need to figure out?

GS: (shrugs again) Like what do I do with the rest of my life.

JR: What do you mean?

GS: (gives interviewer an angry glare) Do I have to spell everything out for you? I’m missing part of my leg. My military career is over. I’m no longer a candidate for the police force or the fire department. What the hell am I supposed to do now?

JR: Surely, there are more than three career choices in the world.

GS: None that I’m interested in.

JR: Okay, then let’s focus on something you are interested in. Tell me about your relationship with Blair Greyson.

GS: We’re friends. I’ve been helping out with work on the Branson farm.

JR: How do you feel about Blair?

GS: (shifts in his chair) I think she’s a good person. She works hard and looks after her grandfather.

JR: Do you think she’s attractive?

GS: (glares) Of course I think she’s attractive. I have eyes, don’t I?

JR: Are you in love with her?

GS: (turns away) She doesn’t want a beat-up soldier like me. I have nothing to offer her. I have no job and no prospects. I’m living with my parents and sleeping in the same bed I slept in when I was nine, for God’s sake!

JR: You didn’t answer my question. Are you in love with her?

GS: (gets to his feet) Yes, damn it! I am! I’m in love with her! But nothing will ever come of it. She doesn’t trust me. Something happened to her a long time ago but she can’t bring herself to tell me because she doesn’t trust me. Or…

JR: Or what?

GS: (closes his eyes) She says my amputation doesn’t bother her, but maybe she’s kidding herself.

JR: Or maybe you’re projecting your own insecurities on her.

GS: Are we done here? I have work to do.

JR: (sighs) Yeah, we’re done. For now. But we’ll talk again.

GS: (walks away) Don’t count on it.


TO HEAL A HEART on sale at Amazon for .99 cents – May 20 to June 3, 2022! 

Get Your Copy Today!


Garrett Saunders' world changed two years ago on a road in Afghanistan. Back home, he feels like a stranger. As he struggles to find his place in the world, he meets a horse destined for the slaughterhouse and a woman bent on rescuing the strays of the world, including him.

Blair Greyson moves to Masonville to look after her ailing grandfather and give her rescue horses a home. Right away she butts heads with a surly former Marine. Despite a rocky start, they come to an agreement: Blair will board Garrett's rescue horse and he'll help with repairs around her farm.

Garrett finds purpose working with Blair—and falls in love with her. But she's hiding a secret. Can she forgive herself and accept Garrett's love, or will she let guilt and regret continue to rule her life?





STRONG ENOUGH, book 4 in the Masonville Series, Coming Soon!

STRONG ENOUGH is available for pre-order now. The book releases June 22, 2022!

Charlotte Saunders has a full life—a rewarding career as a nurse, meaningful volunteer work at a dog shelter, and family, friends and pets she adores. But no matter how hard she tries, she can’t forget the horrible event that’s haunted her for ten years.

A survivor of childhood sexual abuse, Damon Greyson now helps others who have suffered trauma. His experience and intuition alert him to trouble in Charlotte’s past, and he wants to help her, if only she’d let him.

As they work together to help veterans suffering from PTSD and neglected dogs needing loving homes, their feelings for each other deepen. But when the trauma from Charlotte’s past roars back to life, both are forced to confront their painful histories—or die trying.

Buy Links:


About the Author

Jana Richards has tried her hand at many writing projects over the years, from magazine articles and short stories to full-length contemporary romance, paranormal suspense and romantic comedy. She loves to create characters with a sense of humor, but also a serious side. She believes there’s nothing more interesting then peeling back the layers of a character to see what makes them tick.

When not writing up a storm or dealing with dust bunnies, Jana can be found pursuing hobbies such as golf (which she plays very badly) or reading (which she does much better).

Jana lives in Western Canada with her husband Warren. You can reach her through her website at http://www.janarichards.com

Social Media Links

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Blog: http://janarichards.blogspot.com

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Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/janarichards

Amazon UK Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B002DEVWWG

Newsletter Signup: http://janarichards.com/contact.html#newsletter

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2892274Jana_Richards

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