Dead Sexy Blog Tour – Excerpt – Review – Interview with LuLu Sylvian

Dead Sexy Blog Tour – Excerpt – Review – Interview with LuLu Sylvian

Dead Sexy Blog Tour – Excerpt – Review – Interview with LuLu SylvianDead Sexy by Lulu M Sylvian
Published by Griffyn Ink on August 13, 2019
Genres: Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy
Pages: 238
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Goodreads

Hollywood has-been hunk finds a talented illustrator to write him into the perfect life he didn’t have. Life doesn’t give you do-overs, neither does the afterlife.

Believe in love after life.

Medical illustrator Gillian Denver has a unique talent, and it’s not her ability to depict the systems of the body accurately and artistically. She can talk to spirits, only she doesn’t realize it.

Peter Keith, a one-time TV sitcom star whose career dissolved from A-lister hunk, to out of shape, straight-to-cable-movie D-lister has a problem. Peter regrets decisions he made in his life, and would like a do-over. He convinces Gillian to help him. One little problem, Peter is dead.

Thinking it’s her over active imagination causing her reoccurring dreams about Peter to spill into daylight hours, Gillian finds herself talking to him while she works. Together they begin to recreate Peter’s life by writing a book the way he wishes things had worked out. Gillian is not fully convinced that Peter is anything more than something she made up, a glorified imaginary friend, a new muse.

Gillian’s feelings for Peter complicate her relationships with the living. She is afraid the love she has for Peter will never be enough because she cannot give him what he really needs, a resolution to the life he wasn’t ready to leave.

My Review of Dead Sexy

To be honest, I have never read a paranormal romance that involved the hero being a ghost, so the premise of the story was particularly new to me. Thankfully, I love being pleasantly surprised and definitely enjoy reading novels that are out of the “norm” for me. Dead Sexy opened my eyes to the fact that not only do I find werewolves, vampires, fae, and any other mystical beings thrilling, but apparently, I find ghosts to be just as exciting! Even if the ghost is a one-time sitcom star whose failed career ended up with him slipping away into the afterlife…

In steps Gillian Denver, a medical illustrator with a self-proclaimed over active imagination. Gillian is spunky, curious, and amusing. If I were in her shoes, I would also struggle with the idea that the man I’m seeing in my dreams and during the daylight hours is anything but real. But hey, if they looked like Peter, and did the things Peter did in her dreams; well…I wouldn’t complain too much. Peter’s character developed beautifully throughout the story. We saw a man who fell from his lofty position, lost his aspirations, succumbed to his depression (the first novel I read where the hero actually perished from an opioid overdose), and then began putting the pieces of his life back together in the afterlife with help from Gillian.

Without mentioning any spoilers- despite the somber outlook for their burgeoning relationship (I’m sure you’re wondering how this relationship is able to progress with one of the main characters being dead), the story DOES have a happily ever after- oh! And a ghost cat. I will definitely be reading the next book in this series by Lulu!

Dead Sexy was fun, creative, intense, and surprising! A MUST read! Four stars!


LuLu Sylvian

Interview with Author LuLu Sylvian

Hi Lulu and thanks for taking the time to do this interview with me! Let’s jump right into it.

Awesome! (rubs hands together like a maniacal mad scientist). I’m excited to answer your questions!

Your next Paranormal Romance is set to release Aug 2019 after having pumped out the prior series (Wolves of Wet Waterfalls) in April, May, and June of 2019 –(Amazing!)– What do you attribute your productivity level to?
There are so many factors involved that make it look like I’m a faster writer than I really am.
Dead Sexy was already written and waiting in the wings when I sat down with my publisher last summer to discuss what I wanted to release this year. I have a bit of a back catalog waiting for the right time to be published.
Wolves of Wet Waterfalls got in my head and got very noisy, so I had to get it out of my head, just so I could focus on other things. After that happened we noticed a gap between releases in the spring, and decided to push Wolves through.
I’m already working on next year’s releases and working toward my goal of writing a full year ahead of schedule.
Being organized is a big factor. Noisy characters that demand my time is another factor—I’m definitely one of those writers who transcribes the antics of some of my characters. Also, scheduling writing time is huge. Butt in chair, words on paper (or keyboard) are the only way it’s going to happen. Writing (word count) challenges and writing sprints help to keep me motivated.
Please tell us a little about your upcoming novel Dead Sexy.
Dead Sexy is about a woman (Gillian) who doesn’t fully realize she can talk to ghosts, so when the ghost of a recently dead celebrity befriends her, she’s not fully convinced he is anything other than her overactive imagination.
Peter Keith was another victim of an opioid overdose. He had been a hot commodity as a late teen/young adult in Hollywood, but he never was able to maintain that constant level of popularity. At the time of his death, his career had been a series of straight-to-cable mock-buster monster movies and he felt he had let his fans down. He did not feel appreciated.
Together they decide to collaborate on a retelling of Peter’s life, creating in fiction, the life he wished he’d had. Things get complicated when Gillian falls for him. And it turns out Peter can manipulate the dream plain, so things get interesting.
In the end (I promise no spoilers) Gillian finds her own voice, and her talents surpass what she had ever expected. And there is a fun surprise at the end. Of course, as a romance, it definitely has a Happily Ever After.

How did the idea of Dead Sexy form?

Is it fair to say I’m not even sure anymore? I think it all started with a dream and my own overactive imagination. At some point, Gil moved into my head. I do know I was writing this in the late spring because my kids had planted a salsa garden and we were eating a lot of homemade salsa, and hummus. So those foods definitely made it into the story.

In Dead Sexy, the paranormal factor doesn’t come from vampires, fur-covered beasts, or demons, but ghosts. Why ghosts? Are you spiritual in any way?

Yeah, Peter is a ghost. That was how the character and the story formed. It’s not in a magical world, it takes place in the here and now. How do we know that the people talking to us in dreams really aren’t ghosts? That’s probably where some of the basis for the story came from, asking those kinds of questions.
Am I spiritual? This question could go all kinds of directions. I’m going to take it to mean if I believe in ghosts. There are all kinds of things we cannot explain. I believe there is some form of residual energy that some people/animals leave behind. In Dead Sexy Gil has a ghost cat. I know lots of people who have ghost cats or have seen ghost cats. So why not things bigger than cats?
What made you decide to get into Paranormal Romance writing?
I love reading paranormal romance, and urban fantasy. I always thought of myself as a vampire fan (that’s going back to Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire, and The Vampire Lestat). An opportunity to join a paranormal book club came up and I was all in. I wasn’t writing back then, I hadn’t even thought about writing at that point. But I loved the stories, the preternatural powers, the psychic connections, all of that. I discovered that I’m more of a werewolf girl. When I started writing it seemed natural that’s were my ideas would gravitate. I’ve written a few contemporary stories, but thematically I’m drawn towards shifters and other powers.
Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what genre and artists?
Different books get different soundtracks. I wrote a burlesque holiday story, Unwrapped, and the soundtrack for that was all KPop, lots of Black Pink and BTS. The funny thing was when I started writing it, I wanted to listen to the music the dancers were performing to. Small problem, the second I put on Lady Marmalade, or Whatever Lola Wants, the story just stopped. It was as if the characters were all, “Yeah yeah yeah, we get it, we know that music, now give us something fun.” It took some trial and error before I landed on a KPop playlist, but as soon as I did, the story just flowed.
Wolves of Wet Waterfalls happened with a lot of the Latin Workout station on Pandora, and a lot of KPop (also a Pandora station).
I always ask about fun facts in my interviews, What are two random and interesting facts about you?
This question is my nemesis! I think of myself as being perfectly normal, and therefore nothing is particularly interesting. But that’s because I live in my brain all day. I love finding these things out about other people because I don’t live in their brains. So, being aware that you all aren’t in my head, things that might be interesting…
I can wiggle my ears. Okay, that might just be weird… I went to art school in Oakland and San Francisco (split campus), my first career was in Graphic Design and I’ve won design awards.
I cannot hula hoop. I’ve tried, I’ve taken classes. I think the only work out I got from a 6-week hula hoop class was laughing constantly for 45 minutes and having to bend over and pick up the hula hoop every 5 seconds during class. I would love to be able to hula hoop, it looks like so much fun. I really want one of those LED multi-colored hoops, but won’t allow myself to get one until I can successfully hoop.
I don’t drink coffee, and Chupa Chups are the best lollipops ever.
Who are some of your favorite fellow Paranormal Romance authors?
I’m definitely a fan of some of the big ones: Sherrilyn Kenyon, Laurell K Hamilton, Kerrelin Sparks, Molly Harper, Patricia Briggs… the list could go on and on.
What are you currently working on now? What’s coming up next from you?
I’m working on next year’s releases. Currently, I’m writing Fallen Star, which will be the third book in the Second Endings series. Book one is Dead Sexy, book two is Bright Phantoms (releases in October), Fallen Star is three (January 2020), and there is a fourth one planned as well. The books are loosely related, so Gil and Peter make an appearance in the second book, but it’s not their story. You meet the hero for Bright Phantoms in Dead Sexy. All four books deal with ghosts, possession, or reincarnation in one form or another.
After Fallen Star I go back to my shifter world for the Legatum/Legacy series. Redemption will be the sixth book for that series, and it’s all vampires and wolf-shifters with a heavy dose of suspense.
I’ve always wanted to become a romance author someday, but life always seems to get in the way (demanding day job, family, etc.) – How did you successfully start writing and selling books?
The job and kid situations were removed from the equation, and that’s how I actually started writing.
I never thought I would be a writer until the stories in my head demanded to get out. For several years I started getting these ideas and movies in my head. I was not a writer, I had no idea that I was going to be a writer, but I didn’t know what to do with these characters and situations.
I had to write a massive thesis-type paper, and (at the time I thought it was huge, turns out it was only about 15,000 words) I thought if I can do that maybe I can write a book. But not much happened. Fast forward five or six years and one summer my day job (which is seasonal) didn’t need me, and I was at loose ends. I had time, my kids were away traveling with their grandparents, so I decided to see if it was possible for me to dump one of these ideas I had onto paper. I gave myself a month to see what happened.
I had always thought that getting a story out would be hard. All those words, all that plot. I discovered if I had the pictures/movies in my head, all I needed to do was write it down. This does not mean that I crafted a good story, it means I managed to write a complete novel-length manuscript in six weeks.
That year I did NaNoWriMo in November and banged out most of another full-length book (NaNo is a huge self-challenge to write 50,000 words in a month. I needed 1667 words a day—I could do that.) With NaNo I found connections and information, and learned about getting something called a Beta reader (they sort of test-run your story for you). Eventually, someone told me about Romance Writers of America, and I joined my local chapter.
I started taking writer-craft workshops, and actually learning about how to craft a story. I took a series of creative writing classes online. I wrote more books, and I learned what I needed to go back and clean up on the books I had already written.
My focus shifted from other hobbies to writing. As I learned about becoming a writer I started sending out queries, and approaching publication from a more traditional standpoint. The more I learned about self-publishing, I decided I would still try for the traditional route, but I would also start self-publishing. Being a “hybrid” author was the game plan.
Then one day one of my published RWA friends asked if she could read one of my stories. I was definitely intimidated, so I made sure to give her the one manuscript I had cleaned up the most—at this point in time, I was just dumping the stories out of my head and onto the computer, not really bothering with editing or revising, just trying to get the ideas out of my brain as fast as I could.
The next thing I know she’s telling me her publisher is going to call me! Yikes. Apparently, she liked it enough to share with her publisher. Something I never would have asked. (I’m still awed by the course of events that ended up with me being published.) A few conversations later, and I had a publishing contract with a small press.
They released my first book, a collection of male stripper short stories, The Twelve Strippers of Christmas six months later.
What’s the best advice you can give to an aspiring writer?
My best advice is to write. Butt in chair, words on paper or keyboard (plenty of folks do their first draft longhand). The point is: write. And keep writing. Do not stop to refine and revise, and edit. Get the full story out before you go back over it.
Someone somewhere said you can’t edit words that aren’t written. So write first, edit later. Find a group of other writers to learn from and network with. Keep on writing. When you learn something new, you can go back and apply it to that complete story to make it better.
Schedule time to write, treat it like a part-time job. Get into the habit of writing even when inspiration hasn’t struck. Take some classes, discover if you are a plotter or a pantser. Commit to NaNo. Commit to yourself, but be realistic about it. If 50,000 words in a month are too much, can you do 30,000? Can you do 15,000?
If you want to be a writer, you have to write.
Well that wraps it up! Thank you again for doing this interview with me!
Thank you! These were great questions and a lot of fun to think about the answers.

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The Flame and the Arrow by Emigh Cannaday: Review and Summary

The Flame and the Arrow by Emigh Cannaday: Review and Summary

The Flame and the Arrow by Emigh Cannaday: Review and SummaryThe Flame and the Arrow five-stars
by Emigh Cannaday
Published by Createspace on October 22, 2010
Pages: 438
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"Don't do it, Annika," he taunted. His eyes were no longer bright and charming but dark and intense, yet they still twinkled. He was tempting, but was he harmful?

Aspiring rock star Annika Brisby thinks she knows where her life is going until she steps through a broken portal that leaves her stranded in a realm of fairies, vampires, and other mythical beings. Unable to return until it's repaired, she's rescued by wood nymphs who believe her sudden arrival is no accident. After being taken in by a prominent family of elves, Annika finds herself struggling to resist the seductive spell of their youngest son, Talvi. Equal parts arrogant and alluring, the notorious heartbreaker seems like the perfect distraction for her homesickness. Her new friends warn her that she'll probably regret ever laying eyes on him, and what begins as a casual fling quickly burns too hot to handle. By the time Annika learns the consequences of their forbidden trysts, Talvi's already under her skin and dangerously close to her heart. But on the journey home she discovers that there's a mountain of secrets that he's not telling her, and Annika can't help wondering who's really in danger.

* Previously titled Balkan Magic, The Misadventures of Annika Brisby

The Flame and the Arrow is the first novel in the Annika Brisby series by author Emigh Cannaday. The story follows Annika Brisby, an aspiring rock musician who is thrust into an alternate realm that is home to various magical beings- i.e. wood nymphs, elves, vampires, druids, etc. While Annika navigates this new world and tries to figure out a way home, she also must contend with her feelings for the dark, amusing, and alluring Talvi- the youngest son of a prominent and large family of elves. Annika becomes embroiled in the mystery and turmoil of this new realm and embarks on an action-filled journey fraught with danger, intrigue, passion, and love.

Annika is a strong, independent, and adventurous character that handles being in a new and magical world fairly well- all things considered, I probably would not have reacted in the same manner she had. Talvi, while narcissistic, arrogant, and somewhat manipulative, really starts to grow on you the more you read. Talvi’s character development throughout the novel really balanced out the flaws in his personality- after all, as much as I’d like to think otherwise, no one is perfect. Annika’s friendship with the wood nymphs and Talvi’s family added a layer of warmth that I truly enjoyed. And Annika’s interactions with Talvi? Purely poetic! Their witty banter and sexual chemistry practically sizzled from the pages and made it impossible for me to put the book down.

Normally, when a story has a large number of secondary characters, I find it difficult to keep track of who is who and their place in the plot. However, the many characters in this story not only added to the whimsical and fluid storyline, but were easy to remember. By the end of book, I already couldn’t wait to grab the second one and become reacquainted the Annika, Talvi, and the others. The Flame and the Arrow was a compelling and imaginative read filled with fantastical beings, grand adventure, explosive passion, and a generous dash of humor.

Five stars!

five-stars
Cover Reveal – Paranormal Encounters by Deborah J. Hughes

Cover Reveal – Paranormal Encounters by Deborah J. Hughes

Cover Reveal – Paranormal Encounters by Deborah J. HughesParanormal Encounters by Deborah J. Hughes
Series: Tess Schafer-Medium #8
Also in this series: Be Still, My Love
on July 27, 2018
Genres: Fiction, Ghosts, Paranormal
Pages: 259
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Newlyweds Tess and Kade Sinclair are on a dual mission. One, end a curse that threatens the happiness of their future children and two, find family they’ve just learned exists!

So away they go to a mysterious island off the coast of Maine. Known as “Witch Island” to the locals, they believe its unique inhabitants are the answer to those missions.

But a negative force is disturbing the peaceful balance of the private island community. Spirit activity is on the rise and Tess is having disturbing visions of souls trapped on the “other side”. Can she help them, and accomplish her mission to resolve the curse, before she is banished from the one place and the one person capable of helping her?

This is book 8 in the series and all are stand alone stories...though it's better to read them in order! All of the previous books have made it on Amazon's top ten lists for their category and onto their "Hot New Sellers" list. Be Still, My Love (book 1) made it to number one OVERALL when it first came out.

Pre-Order Link – Amazon – Paranormal Encounters (Tess Schafer-Medium Book 8)

 

Paranormal Encounters by Deborah J. Hughes (eBook) Cover


About the Author Deborah J Hughes

Deborah J. Hughes PortraitSince living several of her childhood years in a haunted house, Deborah has been interested in the paranormal. After all, she wanted to understand just what the heck went on there! Her imagination didn’t always make things better but it sure made life interesting! Eventually Deborah started writing stories and since it became something of an obsession with her, she believes it’s her life calling.

It seemed a perfect pairing to write about what interests her and so her paranormal mysteries have resulted. She draws from her experiences, her vivid imagination and even from channeling (since she doesn’t plan her stories but lets them develop as they will, surprising even her when things are revealed!).

Although twenty years of her life was devoted to her country by means of her service in the United States Air Force, Deborah now spends all of her time writing, traveling (when she can!) and enjoying her extensive family.

She hopes her readers enjoy her stories as much as she enjoys writing them, and along with that, she LOVES hearing from them!

Social Media

Website/Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Amazon


 

Tess Schafer-Medium Series

Be Still my Love (Book 1)

Be Still my Love (Book 1)

Hidden Voices (Book 2)

Hidden Voices (Book 2)

Vanquishing Ghosts (Book 3)

Vanquishing Ghosts (Book 3)

Rosemary's Ghosts (Book 4)

Rosemary’s Ghosts (Book 4)

Ghost Trouble (Book 5)

Ghost Trouble (Book 5)

Haunting Ground (Book 6)

Haunting Ground (Book 6)

Distracting Ghosts (Book 7)

Distracting Ghosts (Book 7)

A Review of The Road by Brenda K. Davies

A Review of The Road by Brenda K. Davies

A Review of The Road by Brenda K. DaviesThe Road (The Road to Hell, #3) five-stars
by Brenda K. Davies
ISBN: 1310397554
Published by Smashwords on January 3rd 2017
Genres: Romance, Paranormal, Suspense
Pages: 384
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River,Standing at the edge of the gateway, I understand two things. One, I have no idea what I’m doing. Two, the gateway to Hell is not closing. Now, there may be only one option left to me, to all of us. I may have to enter the one place I’d hoped to avoid throughout this journey. I may have to enter Hell.Unfortunately, a change in events takes the choice away from me.

Kobal,I always knew the idea of River entering into Hell could become a reality, but I expected her to be by my side when, or if, it happened. I expected to be there to protect her, but she’s gone in alone. Now, not only am I trying to catch up with her, but I know Lucifer will soon learn of her entrance into my world, and he will be after her too.I just don’t know which one of us will reach her first.

***There will be at least four books in this series. Not all things will be resolved in this book. Due to graphic language, violence and sexual content this book is recommended for readers 18+ years of age.***

Review of The Road

 

The Road is the third novel in the Road to Hell series by USA Today bestselling author Brenda K. Davies. The first two novels in the series were fast, thrilling, and action-filled, and The Road follows true to its predecessors. Kobal, River, and others who have loyally followed them, have finally made it to the pit leading into hell. River, as promised, works diligently on closing the gateway, though is unsuccessful. A surprise attack from demons as silent as death, though deadlier than most other demons, forces River and a handful of others onto the roadway descending into hell. The further down they go, the more sweltering the heat is, forcing the others to halt their descent, and for River and one of her loyal friends to continue alone.

Meanwhile, Kobal and the other demons vanquish their attackers and hurry after River and the others. The period of time between River and Hawk’s venture into hell, and Kobal’s desperate attempt to catch up to them is heart-pounding and exciting. We are introduced to new demons such as Valkyries, and new horrific experiences such as the twisted carousel that leads River and Hawk into a carnival that isn’t all innocent fun and games. This introduction into hell is exactly what imagined it would be like- twisted, dark, and spine-chilling. Carnivals have always creeped me out and this one was no exception. But I will say, what a marvelous introduction to a new character!

On occasion, when I read a series featuring the same couple, the chemistry and passion between them, by the end of book two and all novels following it, begins to feel redundant- or it simmers to a point where I think, “Well, good for them. Now what?” That is NOT the case with this series! I swear I jump ten degrees whenever Kobal and River decide to get down and dirty- it doesn’t matter if it’s in a tent outside a wall separating the states, or in the sweltering bowels of hell- these two retain the heat!

And those trees in hell? Well, they reminded me fondly of the whomping willow in the Harry Potter series- except these ones will literally obliterate a massive ogre and tear an individual limb-by-limb. However, unlike the memorable whomping willow, these trees are also capable of a little cuddle and playtime- very Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde-ish.

Five stars for The Road!!

See my review for the first novel in this series here–> “Good Intentions Review”

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five-stars
Awakened by Brenda K. Davies: Book Review

Awakened by Brenda K. Davies: Book Review

Awakened by Brenda K. Davies: Book ReviewAwakened (Vampire Awakenings, #1) four-stars
by Brenda K. Davies
on Professionally re-edited and updated 11/1/17
Genres: Romance, Paranormal
Pages: 319
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Goodreads

Traumatized by her past, and struggling to move on from it, Sera has spent the past three years of college hiding herself from the world and content to stay that way. A chance encounter with Liam shatters her sheltered world, leaving her stunned and shaken by the strange feelings and emotions he arises in her, feelings she never thought she would experience and that frighten her in their intensity.

Harboring a dark and deadly secret of his own, Liam knows that he should stay away from Sera; that he will only bring her more hurt, but he is irresistibly drawn to her and unable to deny himself the pleasure that only she can bring to him. But when their pasts collide with their present, and Liam’s true nature is revealed, will their love for each other be enough, or will they be torn apart forever?

This book contains...sex.

Review of Awakened

 

Awakened is the first novel in the Vampire Awakenings series by USA Today bestselling author Brenda K. Davies. The story follows Sera, a young woman navigating her last year in college, while struggling with an experience that has left her uncomfortable and hesitant around men, and Liam- a young man who also attends the college with a dark and dangerous secret of his own. When Liam notices Sera at a party, he instantly decides that he needs to meet her- this chance meeting leads to a whirlwind romance that neither of them expected. Sera opens to Liam early on about a previous boyfriend who left her traumatized back in her hometown, and Liam discovers just how protective he can be with her. When the object of her nightmares makes an appearance and threatens Sera’s life, Liam makes a decision that ultimately changes the course of their relationship.

Besides Sera and Liam, the story provides a handful of other characters that help to move the plot along. Sera has two best friends that she interacts with frequently, Liam has four close friends all sharing the same secret as Liam, and then there’s a woman who used to be close friends with Sera who ultimately betrays her, and finally there’s a villain from Liam’s past that makes a deadly appearance. While many of these characters were interesting, there was a lot to keep track of. Sera mentions a strained relationship with her parents, though we never really find out if this relationship will ever be mended. I was also left wondering if Sera’s best friends would ever find out about what Liam, and eventually Sera, are. So, that part of the story is left to the imagination.

The story, overall, was fast-paced and provided excellent conditions to get to know the characters better (such as the campus frat house and the cabin in the woods where a handful of the characters were snowed in together). The woman who turned Liam and his friends into vampires seemed interesting enough and provided some suspense- though I wish she had provided a bit more wickedness to the story- for example, when she first happened upon Sera in the woods and they were alone, this meeting could have ended in a more drastic way. The chemistry was heated enough between Liam and Sera, and their feelings for one another were evident throughout the story. All-in-all, Awakened was fun, intriguing, and satisfied my need for a good read.

Four stars for Awakened!

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four-stars

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