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I know you will all join me in welcoming the fabulous Grace Burrowes back to the blog!! (curtseys please ladies, any gentlemen may bow) She is also gracious enough to offer up one copy of the book! You know the rules, in order to win leave a comment saying you want the book.

Give Grace a big hand, and look at this gorgeous cover!!

Lady Needs cover

Naturally, we have a blurb.

Lady Joan Flynn has been sorely taken advantage of by an aristocratic scoundrel, and is now cast into the company of Mr. Dante Hartwell’s family as they travel into the Highlands. Mr. Hartwell owns the very train cars, and yet has been unsuccessful at finding a wife among Edinburgh’s polite society…

 

And here is the excerpt!

Mr. Hartwell put his flask away and patted Joan’s hand. “Tell me his name. I’ll pass along my compliments.”

The hand covering Joan’s knuckles would close into a delightfully formidable fist.

“That won’t help anything,” Joan said, “and it might try the gentleman’s meager store of discretion. I was exceedingly stupid.”

Exceedingly stupid. You have an English way of making that sound dire indeed. I suppose the bastard kissed you?”

Bastard was such a hard word. Joan’s free hand went to her belly, which had calmed a bit, while her other hand remained in Mr. Hartwell’s warm grasp.

“I do recollect kissing.” Then had come struggling. Joan had struggled, and now recalled this for the first time.

“Doesn’t sound like he got the kissing bit right. You poor wee thing.”

Joan was skinny. She would never be wee. “Poor wee exceedingly stupid thing.”

“A spouse will probably expect some kissing, you know.” He gave her fingers a squeeze.

Mr. Hartwell had been married, and he was a father twice over. He was not a fussy, proper fellow who’d blush beet red at matters pragmatic and biological. Joan pushed out a question before the tattered remains of her dignity could stuff themselves into her mouth and silence her.

“How soon might a lady experience digestive upset upon conceiving a child?”

He reached into his coat for his flask, his hand stilling short of its goal.

“Some presuming twit needs killing. You must have menfolk who can see to the matter.”

Mr. Hartwell did not sound as if he were teasing.

“As heartening as the notion of justice for my partner in folly might be, that would not solve my problem.” Joan tossed her dignity out a figurative window, and seized her courage with both hands. “Such measures would not solve a child’s predicament either.”

The train swayed along through the cold darkness for a few moments, while Joan marveled that she’d confided in a man more stranger than friend.

“I like you,” Mr. Hartwell said, his pronouncement the sort of gruff, unpolished sentiment Joan suspected hadn’t aided his cause in the ballrooms. “You are honest, and you don’t put on airs. Do you suppose you might stand to kiss me?”

Then he went and said things like that. Joan withdrew her hand.

“I am not wanton, Mr. Hartwell. If I’ve said anything to make you think my favors might be available in the general case, then you’re sadly, severely mistaken. I made an egregious, imbecilic error—one misstep—which I sorely regret and have no intention—”

He put his hand over her mouth, gently. “I meant no insult, ye ken?”

Joan managed a nod.

“If you can’t abide my company, then all you have to do is say so. Before I offer you marriage, we’d best establish first that we can tolerate a shared kiss, aye?”

Buy links: http://graceburrowes.com/books/needs.php

About Grace.

graceburrowes-headshot-01

Grace Burrowes started writing as an antidote to empty nest, and soon found it an antidote to much that makes life a challenge. She has written nearly thirty historical titles, spanning Georgian, Regency, and Victorian periods. Her books have won RT Reviewer’s Choice awards; been named Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and iBookstore Best Books; and nominated for the RWA RITA Award. She’s a practicing family law attorney living in rural Maryland, and she loves to hear from her readers.

Sunday News!

Happy Sunday!!

Let’s begin with this past week’s winner.

Eileen Dandashi won a copy of Madeline’s Christmas Wish!Madeline's Christmas Wish_ebook

And Julia Tagen won Liza’s The Troublesome Apprentice!!

XnV Troubled Apprentice 400 x 640

Congratulations ladies!!

For the better part of the week, I was buried in the writing cave finishing the first draft of book #7 in The Marriage Game, Lady Beresford’s Lover. That is done, but there is still a great deal of editing to do.

I’ll give you a short excerpt to read:

End of August 1817 Beresford Abby, England

Vivian, the widowed Countess of Beresford, sat at her desk in the morning room of the dower house in which she’d been living for the past year, plotting her escape. A beam of bright afternoon sunshine shot along the gold and blue Turkey carpet, interrupted only by supine form of her gray cat, Gisila.

In truth, plotting was probably too strong a word, though Vivian liked how it sounded, and she did feel as if she was escaping; not only the dower house, but Beresford Abby itself. In less than one week, her period of mourning would end. Her hand clenched as if she could strike her dead husband and everyone else in this hellish place. Soon she would leave and vowed never to return.

 

As soon as I was ready to leave the apartment, our car broke down, so we are walking to a small country market about a half a mile away. Late yesterday afternoon, Hubby and I took a shopping bag and set out to buy dinner and wine. He had been pooh-poohing the idea of a folding wagon for the boat to do things like haul groceries back from stores we had to walk to. After carrying the bag back, he is much more amenable to the idea.

Without the car, I was unable to get more boxes to pack, so that has stalled for the next day or so.

I did have a lovely luncheon with my friend and fellow historical author, Jenna Jaxon. She drove.

The weather here has been really strange, and I find myself missing my island,

Magen's Aug 14

and counting down the days until we move up to Annapolis.

Annapolis

I’d love to hear how your week went!

Ella

Please welcome Liza O’Connor back to the blog! Today she’s talking about automobiles and her latest book, The Missing Partner,  not on pre-order.

Because we like book giveaways, she will give a copy of The Troublesome Apprentice to someone who tells her you want the book!

Liza Investigates

Why it took years for England to get its first car.

In 1895, the Honorable Evelyn Ellis purchased and brought the first automobile in England. It was a Panhard-Levassor from France.

URL: http://datchethistory.org.uk/Link%20Articles/Ellis/ellis.JPG

The Panhard-Levassor had been available for sale since 1890 in France. Thus, in my story, I have my character, Mr. Robinson buy the car in 1894 upon hearing the Hon. Ellis planned to buy one.

The reason why wealthy Englishmen weren’t importing cars as their latest amusement since 1890 was because the 1865 Locomotive Act stated that self-propelled vehicles could not travel faster than 4 mph. (Egads! A horse can canter at 12-17 miles. This restriction would be like trading in a horse for a pregnant cow.)

Originally a man with a red flag had to walk before the vehicle, but that was revoked by the time Ellis bought his auto. But the speed restriction continued to thwart the auto industry in England.

Weary of waiting for Parliament to act, Ellis boldly engaged the French company to build a car to his specifications (steering device on the left, Daimler engine), which was brought by boat to England and train to Hampshire. Then the Honorable Evelyn Ellis drove his new toy home, sometimes at 5 times the legal speed limit. No officer of the law stopped him on the well promoted journey.

Mr. Fredrick Simms was Mr. Ellis’s companion on this maiden passage and he wrote a journal which was published for all to read. Here is a bit of what the fellow had to say:

We were not without anxiety as to how the horses we might meet would behave towards their new rivals, but they took it very well and out of 133 horses we passed only two little ponies did not seem to appreciate the innovation.

On our way we passed a great many (horse drawn) vehicles of all kinds as well as cyclists. It was a very pleasing sensation to go along the delightful roads towards Virginia Water at speeds varying from three to twenty miles per hour, and our iron horse behaved splendidly. There we took our luncheon and fed our engine with a little oil.

 

The trip was completed in 5 hours and 32 minutes (not including stops) at an avg. speed of 9.84 mph.

Ellis loved to give his friends rides in his car, and one passenger was Edward, the Prince of Wales, later to be King Edward the VII. Ellis’ speed terrified the poor fellow. (He was about 54 yrs old when he took this ride. While I can find no evidence that he rode with Ellis again, he did ride with other drivers and became a strong supporter of the automobile industry.)

To stop the honorable Ellis and many other high gentry from constantly breaking the law, Parliament attempted to fix the problem in the Locomotive Act in 1895, but sadly the standing Parliament fell and the bill was delayed until November of 1896, when a new Parliament allowed automobiles to drive 8 to 16 mph (local authority’s discretion).

So why did my character not get credit for having the first car in England?

Because the man turned out to be a white slaver and was sent to prison. His car was sold to reimburse the poor servants he’d abused. He didn’t deserve historical mention. Also, he’s fictional and history mostly ignores those type of people.

Here is a rare color photo of the actual car that Ellis drove.

http://datchethistory.org.uk/Link%20Articles/Ellis/br%20run.JPG

Did I time-travel to take this pic? No. It’s a staged shot with modern people dressed up as Victorians. But the car is actually the one Ellis drove. The lady is a descendant of Ellis’ and the gentleman is the Director of the Science Museum….hmmm, perhaps there was some time traveling involved.

I’ll investigate at a later date why, if the first car had the steering wheel on the left, how Britain ended up being a right sided driving country.

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The Adventures of

Xavier & Vic

Book 2

The Missing Partner

By Liza O’Connor

Cases to be Resolved:

The ‘New Woman’ Who Lost Her Old Mind

The Lost Servant of Dante’s Hell

The Disappearance of a Very Important Man

The Abduction of Sneaky Snake by a Grand Elephant

The Cat Who Wore Too Much

 

blurb

 

Vic Hamilton takes the reins of the investigation office, while Xavier Thorn disappears on an assignment for the British government. Her caseload is entirely ‘lost and recovery’ cases. In the midst of solving all her client’s problems, she learns that the government has lost Xavier. With the help of the gypsy pirate Jacko, and her driver Davy, Vic rushes against time to rescue everyone.

Most alarming, she befriends and hires a dangerous criminal as an employee of Xavier Thorn’s Private Inquiries—without Xavier’s permission.

An Excerpt

Despite Mr. Robinson’s instructions to his butler to assist Victor, she sensed Jonston did not relish his assignment. He sat stiff and rigid on the edge of the chair with an expression of stoic suffering.

Victor studied him, wondering how to penetrate his armored shield. She decided to sneak in, using the unreasonable employer card. “How many people work here?”

“Thirty-two in total. Eleven in the gardens, nineteen in the house and two in the auto shed.”

“The what?”

Jonston sniffed as if a foul odor assailed him. “Mr. Robinson has purchased an automobile.”

“Really?”

“Ever since he’d heard the Honorable Evelyn Ellis intended to acquire a Panhard-Levassour, Master Robinson wanted to buy one, as well. A month ago, he purchased the contraption and hired two men to keep it running.”

“Where does he drive it?”

“Wherever there are horses to frighten,” Jonston replied in aggravation. “It’s an ugly thing. A little dogcart with giant wheels. Makes a ghastly noise.”

 

lINKS

Book 1

The Troublesome Apprentice

Amazon

Don’t forget

Book 1 is free 9/15-9/21

Want a free copy of The Troublesome Apprentice?

Leave me a humorous comment with your email address below.

  

Book 2

The Missing Partner

Amazon

Available for Pre-order

 

 

About the author

 

First, I got tired of telling my proper blog. Now, I’m tired of telling my improper bio. So what’s left?

Liza O’Connor was born, raised badly, left the South/Midwest and wandered off to find nicer people on the east coast…and employment, there were no jobs in the Mid-west. There she worked for the meanest man on Wall Street, while her psychotic husband tried to kill her three times. (So much for finding nicer people.) Then one day she declared enough, got a better job, divorced her husband, and fell in love with her new life where people behaved normally. All those bad behaviors has given her lots of fodder for her humorous romances. Please buy these books, because otherwise, she’ll become grumpy and write troubled novels instead. And given her past, they will likely traumatize you.

Mostly humorous books by Liza:

Saving Casey – Old woman reincarnates into troubled teen’s body. (Half funny/half traumatizing)

Ghost LoverTwo British brothers fall in love with the same young woman. Ancestral ghost is called in to fix the situation. There’s a ghost cat too. (Humorous Contemporary Romance)

A Long Road to Love Series: (Humorous Contemporary odd Romance)

Worst Week Ever — Laugh out loud week of disasters of Epic proportions.

Oh Stupid Heart — The heart wants what it wants, even if it’s impossible.

Coming to Reason — There is a breaking point when even a saint comes to reason.

Climbing out of Hell — The reconstruction of a terrible man into a great one.

The Troublesome Apprentice — The greatest sleuth in Victorian England hires a young man who turns out to be a young woman.

 

Social Networking

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT

LIZA O’CONNOR, XAVIER & VIC:

Investigate these sites:

Liza’s Blog and Website   Facebook   Twitter

Sunday News!!

Happy Sunday!! We have book winners and here they are:

TETL front

Congratulations to Shelia who won a copy of Jenna Jaxon’s book, Time Enough to Love!!

 

 

 

 

LostHonor_w7482_300

And to Joanna Mortes who won Loreen Augeri’s Lost Honor!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

In more book news, I have a Christmas novella releasing on October 27th. It’s now on pre-order and, I’m giving away one copy to someone who tells me she wants it. It is in ebook only. Those of you who read The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh will remember Georges. Madeline's Christmas Wish_ebook

 

Madeleine’s Christmas Wish

The bachelors in Ella Quinn’s Marriage Game series make a habit of resisting the irresistible. But during the season for giving, surrendering to temptation may be the greatest gift of all…

A French spy, Georges, Marquis Cruzy-le-Châtel, has lived in England for years, sacrificing his life for his country—but not his heart. For he’s never been able to forget his childhood friend, Madeleine. And now, in her hour of need, he is there to rescue her…

The victim of a ruthless statesman, Madeleine, Comtesse du Beaune, has been abducted and sent to England to work in a brothel. Her greatest wish is to return home for Christmas, and her only hope of it is to marry Georges—though she will be his wife in name alone. Yet as they steal across the snowy countryside, Georges decides to woo her—with kisses that melt the winter’s frost and leave her longing for a holiday miracle…

Amazon ~  Barnes and Noble ~ iTunes

I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day weekend last week. We drove to my mother-in-law’s house where we met up with my son, daughter-in-law and, most importantly, my lovely granddaughter, Josephine.  We haven’t had the opportunity to spend a lot of time together, but it didn’t seem to matter. Great-Grandma brought out the children’s books and we spent a lot of time reading. She is only four, but she’s already hooked on books.

One of our rituals was to have breakfast together, after which, I’d braid her hair. We took this photo because she was unable to hold the mirror just so she could see it. Braiding worked much better than the ponytail she’d had before.

 

Josephine's Hair

On the way back (it was a 13 hour drive) we stopped at Rockfish Gap and I took these pictures. It still boggles my mind that people fought their way through the wilderness and made homes and lives for themselves.

 

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Look out use

Rockfish Gap use

You won’t see me around on social media much for the next week or so while I finish the next book in The Marriage Game and a novella that will be part of a boxed set with several other authors, including NYT bestseller Cheryl Bolen.

I’d love to hear how you’ve been doing.

Ella

 

This is Loreen’s first time on the blog so please give her a warm welcome!! Loreen is going give us a peek at her release, Lost Honor!! She’ll also be giving away a copy to one of you who tells her she wants the book!

 

As always, let’s start with the cover.

LostHonor_w7482_300
Now for the blurb:
 
Captain Morgan Danvers sets sail to rescue his brother, kidnapped by pirates. Fearing he will become like his father who abandoned him, he has cut himself off from his emotions. Then a willful stowaway crashes into his life, awakening dormant feelings and firing his lust. Soon he finds his all-important honor threatened, for even though he is betrothed to another, he is drawn to her against his will.Arianna Pemberton hides in a barrel she thinks will be loaded on her brother’s ship but lands on Morgan’s brig. Her father has forbidden her to sail, and this is her only course of action. Unwilling to allow a man to control her, she is determined to make her way as a seaman, a profession she knows and loves. But when Captain Danvers discovers her deception, he refuses to permit her to prove herself. As she struggles to convince him, unwanted passion emerges, jeopardizing her plans for independence.

And an excerpt.
Throwing open the door to his cabin, he pushed her inside, entered, and slammed it shut. He remembered doing this once already today. He hoped this time would be the last.
Morgan folded his arms across his chest and leaned against the door.
 
She stood defiantly before him as her perfect, seductive chest rose and fell in a swift rhythm. From the quick trip down here, fear, or anger, he couldn’t tell. She acted the opposite of every female he had ever encountered.
 
“Now, let’s get a few things straight. I run this ship. I am the captain. I am king on the Sea Dragon. You obey my rules. And the first one is, you go where I tell you and stay there until I command otherwise.” A paper from the top of his desk floated to the floor, reminding him of her other infraction and possible spying. “And you never, ever, touch my belongings.” He swung his arm in a wide arc. “This is not how I left my cabin. Return it to its previous condition.”
 
“But—”
 
“Quiet!” he roared. “I am not finished. You will remove those clothes and dress as a female should.” He stalked toward her.
 
She instinctively stepped back.
 
He snatched the cap off her head, and sunshine spilled out. Ensnared by her golden beauty, he stilled and pictured her hair unbound, enveloping her curves, enveloping him. He shook himself. Her allure would not save her. He was immune to feminine charms. Morgan shoved the wool cap at her, and she caught it in her hands. “Women do not wear these.”
 
“Are you finished?” She stood straight and tall. All five feet of her.
 
He nodded.
 
“I’m sorry I made a mess of your cabin, but you left me no choice. I needed to find a way out.”
 
“Why? I explicitly stated you were to remain. I even locked you in.” His gaze searched the cabin. “How did you escape?”
 
“I used the key.”
 
“How did you get it?” A sudden thought struck. “From Mark? Is he the one who let you out?” Morgan spun toward the door to summon the boy. She grabbed his arm to stop him, and a shocking sizzle shot through him.
 
An indrawn breath escaped her. She immediately released him and clasped her hands together in front of her, the knuckles white, her arms tense. “He had nothing to do with me leaving the cabin. It was all my idea.” The words tumbled from her mouth.
 
Morgan strove to ignore the tingling sensation running up and down his arm and to summon back the anger that had seeped from him. He held out his hand palm up. “Give me the key.”
 
She brushed blonde wisps of hair from her face. “I don’t have it.”
 
“Where is it?”
 
She hesitated. “At the bottom of the ocean.”
 
Lost Honor is available in e-book and paperback from The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble online. Buy links can be found on my website www.loreenaugeri.com
 
 
 
About Loreen:
 
Loreen3 pictureLoreen Augeri has always liked to read and write. As a young child, she created stories featuring a young girl and her loyal horse. Riding was her favorite pastime.
 
She started reading historical romances when her children were babies. When her youngest daughter started school, she decided she wanted to write a novel. At first, to see if she could, later as a hobby, and then seeking publication. Joining Romance Writers of America and her local chapter helped in the process.

Loreen lives in Massachusetts with her husband of 33 years and her two adult daughters. When she is not reading or writing, she enjoys walking, dancing, and spending time at the beach.

ellaquinnauthor:

I was supposed to have Sandra on my blog, but it didn’t happen, so this is the next best thing. Congratulations to Sandra on her contemporary. I just hope she doesn’t forget that she is an extremely talented historic author as well!! Enjoy!!
Ella

Originally posted on Rakes Rogues and Romance:

CFHbanner3.jpg.jpg

 

I’m thrilled today to have Sandra Owens wonderful book, Crazy For Her on my blog today. Sandra has been tearing up the charts with her romantic suspense love story between Logan, an ex-Navy SEAL and Dani, the wife of Logan’s best friend, Evan, who died in Afghanistan. this is a story that takes so many twists and turns but throughout it, one thing remains strong. the love story that Sandra builds slowly and superbly.

Logan you see, has always loved Dani, but his friend Evan made his move first and won her love. But Evan died tragically and Logan had made him a promise to take care of Dani and their baby. What Logan couldn’t stop was the love he had for Dani that had never died.

Dani may be one of my favorite female characters in contemporary romance. she is strong but still vulnerable. She loved her husband…

View original 389 more words

Spotlight on Jenna Jaxon

Please welcome Jenna Jaxon back to the blog!! Today she has her medieval romance, Time Enough to Love. She’ll be giving away a signed print copy to one of you!!  Just tell her you want it!

Look at this lovely cover!

TETL front

Now the blurb.

When Lady Alyse de Courcy is betrothed to Sir Geoffrey Longford, she has no choice but to make the best of a bad bargain. The hulking knight is far from her ideal man, and although he does possess some wit and charm, he is no match for the sinfully sensual man she secretly admires, Thomas, Earl of Braeton, her betrothed’s best friend.

From the first, Sir Geoffrey finds himself smitten by Lady Alyse, and, despite her infatuation with his friend, vows to win her love. When Geoffrey puts his mind to wooing Alyse, he is delighted to find her succumbing to his seduction. But when cruel circumstances separate them, Geoffrey must watch helplessly as Thomas steps in to protect Alyse—and falls in love with her himself.

As the three courtiers accompany Princess Joanna to her wedding in Spain, they run headlong into the Black Plague. With her world plunged into chaos, Alyse struggles with her feelings for both the men she loves. But which love will survive?

And an excerpt.

“Lady Alyse de Courcy!” King Edward called out again, bringing Alyse’s head up like a startled deer. “Present yourself before the court.”

Alyse shot off her seat. Oh, Lord! She had kept King Edward waiting.

“I beg pardon, sire.” She hurried from behind the table, too aware of all the eyes now on her. As she moved to stand before the king, the low drone of many voices rose around the room.

“Impudent girl.”

“I’d not want to be in her place.”

“Do you think the king will…”

Each snatch of conversation made her heart beat faster.

What will he do to me?

Her normal embarrassment at being the center of attention tripled at the thought of this blatant lapse of protocol. She stopped several feet from the dais and the room hushed as though everyone held their breath.

“What do you require of me, Majesty?” Her mouth so dry she could taste sand, Alyse fought to speak in a normal tone. With a sigh of relief, she dropped into a deep curtsy, hiding her face in the folds of her skirt. If only she could remain bowed thus before His Majesty for the remainder of the evening.

King Edward laughed. “Obedience, Lady Alyse, as I require of all my subjects. As your father requires of his daughter.”

Her heart thumped wildly in her breast. That could mean but one thing.

“Rise, my lady.”

She did so on unsteady feet. “I am ready, as always, Your Majesty, to obey my father as I would you.”

Holy Mary, let it be Lord Braeton.

King Edward lifted an eyebrow toward Alyse. “A very pretty answer, my lady. And are you ready to accept your father’s decree for your betrothal? His messenger has today reached me with the contract, as I am to stand in his stead in this matter.”

Alyse took a deep breath and hoped her voice did not tremble. “Yea, Majesty, I will obey my father.”

King Edward nodded and leaned over to whisper something to Queen Phillipa, who sat beside him, heavy with their twelfth child.

Mere seconds before she learned her fate. She could scarce affect an indifferent pose before the court when inside every inch of her quivered with anticipation of the name. His name, pray God, on the king’s lips.

  1. Thomas.

In her mind, she heard the word.

The king straightened, glanced at her then at the man by her side.

“What say you then, Sir Geoffrey? Does the lady not speak fair? I vow she will make you a proper wife and a dutiful one as well.”

Alyse turned, until that moment unaware that Geoffrey Longford stood beside her. Chills coursed down her body as the king’s words echoed in her mind. The sensation of falling backward assailed her, as though she rushed away from the tall man at her side even as his figure loomed larger and larger in her sight.

Not Lord Braeton.

Her numbed brain repeated the phrase, trying to comprehend that instead he would be her husband. Geoffrey Longford.

God have mercy on me, for by the look of him, this man will not.

Buy Links: Amazon

About Jenna.

Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical and contemporary romance.  She has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager.  A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise.  She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets.  When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director.  She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage.

Jenna is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America as well as a member of Chesapeake Romance Writers. Her debut novel, Only Scandal Will Do, is the first in her House of Pleasure series, set in Georgian London.  Her medieval novel, Time Enough to Love, is a Romeo & Juliet-esque tale, set at the time of the Black Death.

She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.

 

 

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