Excerpt: The Orchid Throne (Forgotten Empires: Book 1) by Jeffe Kennedy

Book synopsis:

A PRISONER OF FATE

As Queen of the island kingdom of Calanthe, Euthalia will do anything to keep her people free—and her secrets safe—from the mad tyrant who rules the mainland. Guided by a magic ring of her father’s, Lia plays the political game with the cronies the emperor sends to her island. In her heart, she knows that it’s up to her to save herself from her fate as the emperor’s bride. But in her dreams, she sees a man, one with the power to build a better world—a man whose spirit is as strong, and whose passion is as fierce as her own…

A PRINCE AMONG MEN

Conrí, former Crown Prince of Oriel, has built an army to overthrow the emperor. But he needs the fabled Abiding Ring to succeed. The ring that Euthalia holds so dear to her heart. When the two banished rulers meet face to face, neither can deny the flames of rebellion that flicker in their eyes—nor the fires of desire that draw them together. But in this broken world of shattered kingdoms, can they ever really trust each other? Can their fiery alliance defeat the shadows of evil that threaten to engulf their hearts and souls?


Excerpt:

“Arise, Your Highness. The realm awaits the sun of Your presence.”

The ritual words cut through the thick smoke of the nightmare, bringing me awake with a start. A bad omen that I hadn’t come out of the dreams on my own—and a sign that gave the images the power to linger in my mind, stains refusing to be scrubbed clean.

The wolf fought its chains, howling in hoarse rage, shedding fire and ash.

The sea churned, bloodred and crimson dark, bones tossed in the waves, white as foam.

The tower fell into a pile of golden rubble, then to fine sand, the grains sliding against one another with soul-grinding whispered screams.

I loathe dreaming, where I have even less control than in the waking world. Calanthe Herself sings sweetly to me of the seas, the plants, and the creatures that walk Her soil. But outside our fragile island, the abandoned lands beyond cry like frightened children in the night. I can’t help them. It’s all I can do to protect Calanthe, and most days I despair of being able to do even that.

Still, with no one else to hear them, they call to me in chaotic images, the nightmares dashing me from one dark scenario to the next. No matter how the dreams plague me, I usually wake when the light of the rising sun reddens my eyelids. I keep my eyes closed, pretending to anyone who checks on me that I’m still asleep. Pulling the pieces of my composure together, I listen to the morning song of Calanthe. The birds sitting high in the canopy to catch the first warming rays of the sun show me the sky. The fish swimming in the sea speak of clean water and plentiful food. Even the trees, the flowers, the small insects in the soil all hum to me of their lives.

All reassure me of the balance, that Calanthe, at least, is peaceful and vital.

Only I and the land I’m tied to exist in that time after sleep and before true waking, in what I call the dreamthink, an almost enchanted bubble where I belong entirely to Calanthe. The emperor does not own me. The crying lands he’s orphaned are silent. My ladies have not yet woken me to wrenching reality and the trials of the day ahead.

Dreams always seem to me a terrible price to pay for the succor of sleep. Neither my naturalists nor my physicians seem to be able to explain the purpose of such dreams. And of course, Anure killed all the wizards, so I have none to tell me if magic can answer those nighttime screams. So without answers, and like the exorbitant tithes I’m forced to send to the emperor, I do pay the price, and nightly. The dreamthink is my reward, my time with Calanthe. A gift arising from waking Ejarat of the earth welcoming the return of Her husband, Sawehl of the sun. In the dreamthink, in Calanthe’s sweet communion, I can believe the old gods are with us still, that they haven’t abandoned us. That I have reason to hope.

“Euthalia, wake up. We’re ready,” Tertulyn whispered in my ear. My first lady-in-waiting, doing her duty as always. She couldn’t know she’d woken me from the nightmare instead of the dreamthink. Or that starting my day this way meant it would be certainly cursed.

No one believes in omens or curses anymore. Or hope, for that matter. In this, too, I am alone.

Euthalia is a mouthful, but no one calls me that except for Tertulyn so it doesn’t matter. Only Emperor Anure has the rank to address me by my given name, and I avoid conversation with His Imperial Nastiness to the best of my ability. Tertulyn has called me by my name since we were children, but only when no one can overhear, as etiquette demands.

As if she’d whispered them into my ear along with my name, the concerns of the realm immediately flooded my mind. The emperor’s emissary should have returned in the night and would want an audience with me—something I’d been dreading, as he never brought good news. Rumors had spread of slave uprisings, possibly even rebellion, as unlikely as that would be, that had the emperor both angry and insecure in his power. The worst possible combination in a man like him.

If I believed a rebellion could succeed, I would rejoice in the battle to come. But I had no hope of that. No one could defy Anure’s vast power and ability to destroy the least whimper of resistance, as all those kingless and queenless lands testified, crying their hopelessness to me every night.

No, such rumors meant the Imperial Tyrant would only tighten his fist—one that already strangled us nearly to death. The prospect of worse to come made me inexpressibly weary, and I hadn’t even gotten out of bed yet.

Nevertheless, I had to face the day. A realm awaited the sun of my presence, after all.

I opened my eyes and pasted a serene smile on my lips.

Tertulyn—already wigged, gowned, and decked in fresh flowers—stood a decorous three steps back from my bed, hands folded over her heart. All equally polished and lovely as morning dew, my five junior ladies awaited in a ring around her. They’d all been up since well before dawn to dress themselves before attending me. And yet their eyes sparkled as brightly as the birds that had shown me the sun on the sea, pretty painted lips curved in delighted smiles. Though I was only twenty-six, they made me feel old.

If a witch offered me a magic potion to remove the last ten years and restore my youth—and the innocent belief I’d had then, that my life would be a good one—I’d down it without question. Even if it meant my death the next day. No, that was a lie. I would never shirk my duty to Calanthe, not even for such a fantasy. Not without an heir to take my place. No matter how old and tired I felt.


Purchase Links:

Macmillan Publishers



JEFFE KENNEDY is an award-winning, bestselling author who writes fantasy, fantasy romance, and contemporary romance. She serves on the Board of Directors for SFWA as a Director at Large. 

Her most recent works include Prisoner of the Crown and the upcoming Exile of the Seas, from her high fantasy trilogy from Rebel Base books, The Chronicles of Dasnaria, in the same world as her award-winning fantasy series The Twelve Kingdoms and The Uncharted Realms. She is a hybrid author, and also self-publishes a fantasy series, Sorcerous Moons. Her books have won the RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Fantasy Romance of 2015, been named Best Book of June 2014, and won RWA’s prestigious RITA® Award. 

She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.

Jeffe can be found online at her website: JeffeKennedy.com, every Sunday at the SFF Seven blog, on Facebook, on Goodreads and on Twitter @jeffekennedy.

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Book Blitz: Twisted Fates by Kitty Thomas

Twisted Fates 
by Kitty Thomas 
Publication date: September 17th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

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Book Synopsis:

“A twisted darkly erotic story that only Kitty Thomas could tell.” – Willow Winters, USA TODAY Bestselling Author

“With Twisted Fates, Kitty Thomas is at her best, creating an intensely emotional dark ride you won’t want to get off.”  — Anna Zaires, New York Times Bestselling Author of Twist Me 

When Lindsay Smith brought her to the house, it was to train and sell her. They both knew it. She’d agreed to this arrangement. She wanted to belong to someone. But Lindsay wanted her to be his.

Three days into her stay at the pleasure house, Shannon Foster’s life is forever destroyed by a sociopathic monster. Lindsay saved her life that day, but the scars bind her to the house without a future.

Now, eight years later, Lindsay saves her once again, only this time he’s playing for keeps.

NOTE: The books in the Pleasure House world are interlocking standalones. Each book has a full and complete ending with no cliffhangers and focuses on a different couple. These books can be read in any order the “series order” is the order of publication.


Excerpt:

She realized suddenly that she was still crying. This agonizing sobbing sound was coming out of her, so foreign she kept forgetting it was her. How could she make those sounds? She was sure she’d cried every tear, felt every regret, ruminated and obsessed over every grudge.  She’d thought she was empty, done.

It was that emptiness that had finally brought her to the brink of her own demise. Yet here she was, the emotion spilling out, a never-ending fountain bubbling over with rage and pain. She flinched when he started to stroke her back. She flinched because she expected to feel him flinch when he touched her. She expected his fingertips to stutter and halt against the scars in revulsion. But they didn’t.

He touched her as if she were unbroken. 

“What do you need, Shannon?”

“Something you can’t give me.”

“You don’t know until you ask.”

She shook her head. “It can never be you.” Even though he was the only offer on the table. Even though he was the only one she’d wanted back when things were simple. 

The arousal cream continued on in its mission to drive her crazy, but her mind had become so far removed from sex that it acted as a dull background throb which she kept forgetting how to define because all she could think about was how this couldn’t happen with the doctor.

She couldn’t give herself to him like that—not in the way every last insane ounce of her wanted to. She couldn’t give in to the id. She’d made that mistake once. He’d already proven he wasn’t a man she could trust. 

He pressed warm soft kisses against her back, trailing up to her neck. He quietly untied her, then he sat beside her on the leather table and pulled her into his arms, his mouth finding hers, lingering there, softly at first, then hungrily as if he might devour her whole. She didn’t resist him. It felt too good. Even if she hated him. It was so late. She was so tired. 

He carried her up the stairs to his suite and laid her down on his giant bed in the plant room. Ralph was asleep in his cage though the parakeets still twittered quietly to each other. He covered the bird cages with a blanket, turned on a thunderstorm white noise machine, and then climbed into the bed with her.

Shannon barely breathed as he pulled her against him and wrapped an arm around her.

“What are we doing?” she whispered.

“We’re sleeping.”

“You know what I mean.”

“Sleep, kitten.”

She knew what he’d said in the dungeon about wanting her, and the kiss had felt real enough. And they’d shared a moment—she thought—but she couldn’t help thinking this was all some strange unconventional therapy that meant nothing beyond keeping her from killing herself. She couldn’t let herself believe it was anything more.

But if it was therapy, it might be working because suddenly dying was the last thought on her mind.


Giveaway:

The grand prizes are:

  • Signed Hardcovers:
    • Comfort Foods
    • Guilty Pleasures
    • The Con Artist
  • $100 Amazon giftcard
  • $50 Spafinder gift card

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/70f5e72b10/


Purchase Links:

Only $3.99 through release week. It will return to the normal retail price of $4.99 after September 24th.

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The rest of the Pleasure House series can be found here: https://kittythomas.com/book-series/pleasure-house/


KITTY THOMAS writes dark stories that play with power and have unconventional HEAs. She began publishing in early 2010 with her bestselling COMFORT FOOD and is considered one of the original authors of the dark romance subgenre.

To find out FIRST when a new book comes out, subscribe to Kitty’s New Release List: KITTYTHOMAS.COM

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Cover Reveal: A Baby for the Bratva by Chloe Kent

Book Synopsis:

They wanted a girl quickly so they chose an orphanage where no one would ask questions.

They planned to use her until she was pregnant…

Instead they got twenty-one-year-old American Starla Anderson.

When the Russian Mafia invades the orphanage where she lives, in the middle of the night, throwing the nuns who raised her, into a petrified frenzy, it’s Starla who is chosen as the only one who could possibly survive the Bratva and their demands.

But in spite of her own fear of the three massive, glowering and scary men, Starla has to think and act fast…

With her heart thundering in her chest, her body on fire at their presence alone, she sees an opportunity, something that might help the other girls at the impoverished orphanage at a chance of a better life. She lays out her only condition.

Her body for a fee…

Except…

No one says no to the Bratva.


A Baby for the Bratva 
by Chloe Kent 
Published by: Blushing Books Publications
Publication date: October 2nd 2019
Genres: Adult, Reverse Harem, Romance

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Chloe Kent has been hooked on romance since her teens and couldn’t wait to grow up and write her own romance novels. Her spirited heroines usually require at least two… sometimes more incredibly hot heroes to keep her happy and that’s exactly how Chloe writes them. 

Her favorite pastimes include her husband, her dog, and books. Her biggest fear is running out of coffee or her imagination.

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Book Blitz: Relatively Happy (Relatively Series: Book 3) by Whitney Dineen

Relatively Happy 
by Whitney Dineen 
(Relativity Series, #3) 
Publication date: September 18th 2019
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

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Book Synopsis:

Sarah Hastings’ life is chaotic. Between running her organic farm, her yurt-style holistic B&B, and her vegan café Eat Me!, she barely has time for an aura cleanse. What’s more, her spirit guide just announced the universe is sending her a man. 

Suddenly, a sexy pro-football player, a hipster photojournalist, and fellow organic farmer practically fall from the sky onto her doorstep. But which one is her cosmic soulmate? 

While Sarah meditates on the answer, her parents show up unexpectedly throwing the mother of all monkey wrenches into her carefully laid plans. 

With only morning yoga and her erotic book club to keep her sane, no wonder she’s chucked her vegan diet in search of bacon. Will the stars of love align, or will the universe let her down in the biggest way possible? 

Relatively Happy is a laugh-out-loud, cry-your-heart-out tale that will have you believing in the beauty of life’s journey. 


Excerpt:

After Rix puts his suitcases down, I show him the gift shop and cafe.

“Is this where I eat while I’m here?” he asks when we reach my new restaurant. 

“If you don’t mind, I’d prefer that you eat up at the house. The cafe isn’t open yet. If you’re still here once Eat Me! opens, guests will have their meals here.”

“Eat Me!?” His eyes sparkle with laughter.

“My business name is Eat Me Organic. It seemed fitting.”

“Organic, huh? That must be a lot of messing around.”

I bristle at his tone. “The additional work is worth it to grow quality produce that won’t poison people.”

He shrugs his shoulders. “If you say so, but I highly doubt regular food is killing people. I’ve always been pretty careful about what I put into my body, and I’m healthy as a horse.”

I’m more than a little annoyed by Rix’s disregard for the importance of eating high quality food, so I opt to change the subject. “Is there anything else you need before I leave you to go back to your yurt and get settled?”

“No, thanks. I’m going to head next door and start an inventory of what needs to get done.”

“Okay, then, I’ll see you later.” 

As I turn to leave, he calls out, “What time should I be up at the house for dinner?”

“Five thirty,” I answer.

“Five thirty? I’ve barely had my lunch by then. Why so early?”

I guess he’s forgotten the drill in his years away. “Farm hours. I’m up at five a.m. every morning, so breakfast is at six, lunch is at eleven thirty and supper is at five thirty.”

“I’m going to have to make some adjustments to my schedule,” he says, looking chagrined.

“Only if you want to eat here. There are still restaurants in town if you’d prefer to have your meals later in the day.”

“Maybe so, but they don’t serve your pie. I think I’ll make the effort to eat according to your timetable.”

Seeing his gorgeous face across the table from mine three times a day is a delicious thought. And even though I don’t have an extra two minutes for myself, I know I’m going to go out of my way to make homemade pie every morning.

“By the way,” I ask, “would you prefer a vegetarian menu or a strictly vegan one? I have a cow and chickens, so I’m happy to provide dairy and eggs.”

He looks at me like I’d given him a choice between a nice bowl of crunchy toenails and a booger sandwich. “I’d prefer you’d kill the cow and run it past the grill on the way to the table,” he answers. 

“I’m not going to kill Shirley! What kind of vegetarian do you think I am?”

“I didn’t know you were a vegetarian.”

“Rix,” I ask, “who told you stay here while you’re in town?”

“My mom,” he answers.

“Didn’t she tell you anything about the place?”

“What’s to tell? You live next door to my grandparents’ farm, and I need a place to stay while I get it ready for sale. It seemed like a no-brainer.”

I roll my eyes. “You’re going to need to dine in town if you want to eat animals.”

“No, ma’am,” he answers. “If I have to give up meat to get that pie of yours, I’ll do it. But I’d be pleased to have eggs and cheese. If you don’t mind preparing them, that is.”

“I don’t mind at all. I’m currently not vegan myself, so I’ll make you the same food I make for me and the boys.”

“Have you got a boy band staying here with you?” he jokes. 

I snort in response. “No, just Cat Masterton’s ex-fiancé, Ethan, and my friend Scottie.”

“Love triangle?” he teases.

“I’ve been helping Ethan detox his body for the last few months. And Scottie is Scottie Schweer. He was just a little kid when you left Gelson for the bright lights of Notre Dame.”

He nods his head. “Detoxing, huh?” he asks.

“In addition to farming, I run a holistic boot camp. I help people heal from different sicknesses or aid them in rebooting their lives.”

Surprise shoots across his handsome face before he abruptly asks, “What’s wrong with him, if you don’t mind me asking?”

“That’s not something I’m at liberty to discuss. I honor my guests’ privacy.”

He has the grace to look embarrassed. “I guess you’re not going to rat me out to the paparazzi then?” he jokes.

I tease back, “I don’t know about that. Twenty thousand dollars might be enough to tempt me.” I check my pocket and pull out my phone. “I’ll have to keep this on me in case you do something photo worthy.”

He grins flirtatiously. “What if I’m not alone when I do something photo-worthy?”

That comment causes an explosion of very intimate sensations to race through my extremities making stops at very personal locations. If I’m not mistaken, he’s just declared interest in me. I toss him a playful smile and turn to walk out the door. It looks like the universe is stepping up. 


Giveaway:

Giveaway ends September 12th.

The grand prize is:

  • 2x $35 Amazon gift card

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251233275/


Purchase Links:

Amazon


Whitney loves to laugh, play with her kids, bake, and eat french fries — not always in that order.

Whitney is a multi-award-winning author of romcoms, non-fiction humor, and middle reader fiction. Basically, she writes whatever the voices in her head tell her to. 

She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband, Jimmy, where they raise children, chickens, and organic vegetables.

Gold Medal winner at the International Readers’ Favorite Awards, 2017.

Silver medal winner at the International Readers’ Favorite Awards, 2015, 2016.

Finalist RONE Awards, 2016.

Finalist at the IRFA 2016, 2017.

Finalist at the Book Excellence Awards, 2017

Finalist Top Shelf Indie Book Awards, 2017

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Cover Reveal: The Call of Death by R.J. Garcia

Book Synopsis:

Fourteen-year-old Hannah Priestly crashes into a terrifying future but wakes up in her dorm room now knowing the name of an infamous serial killer, Norman Biggs. He will attack her in the future unless she and her three male friends can change fate.

Hannah is a suntanned, obsessive-compulsive, California girl dropped off at an English boarding school by her celebrity mother. Hannah has difficulty understanding algebra let alone her increasingly dark visions. Rory Veer is Hannah’s smart, easy-going and romantically challenged friend and school crush. When Norman Biggs unexpectedly appears in Rory’s reality, terror is set in motion. It is Rory who must acknowledge a past he has denied if the mystery is to be unraveled.


The Call of Death 
by R.J. Garcia 
Published by: Parliament House
Publication date: November 5th 2019
Genres: Romance, Suspense, Young Adult

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Giveaway:

Giveaway is starting soon.

The grand prize is:

  • $10 Amazon Gift Card

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251233285/


R.J. Garcia is a wife and proud mom. She earned her MSW and worked with foster children and as a school social worker. Writing has been her other great love. She has published several non-fiction pieces. She has been writing short-stories for as long as she can remember. To her amazement, those short stories became novels! 

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Cover Reveal: #Fate (GearShark: Book 6) by Cambria Hebert

Book Synopsis:

What’s meant to be will always find a way.

Perfection isn’t an illusion.
I met it, held it in my hands.
But then it slipped right through.


Perfection isn’t an illusion.
It’s elusive, cleverly evasive, and, in many ways, a horrible tease.

I’m not a man to be toyed with.
Quiet, thoughtful, and even sometimes careful,
but never someone to taunt.
Even the most controlled men have a breaking point.
I just met mine.


Why mess with perfection?
You don’t.
Unless perfection messes with you.


Title: #Fate
Series: GearShark #6 (needs to be read in order) 
Author: Cambria Hebert 
genre: male/male romance 
Release date: November 4, 2019 (pre-order now!)

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Cambria Hebert is an award winning, bestselling novelist of more than twenty books. She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair. 

Besides writing, Cambria loves a caramel latte, staying up late, sleeping in, and watching movies. She considers math human torture and has an irrational fear of chickens (yes, chickens). You can often find her running on the treadmill (she’d rather be eating a donut), painting her toenails (because she bites her fingernails), or walking her chorkie (the real boss of the house). 

Cambria has written within the young adult and new adult genres, penning many paranormal and contemporary titles. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense. A few of her most recognized titles are: The Hashtag Series, Text, Torch, and Tattoo.

Cambria Hebert owns and operates Cambria Hebert Books, LLC.

You can find out more about Cambria and her titles by visiting her website: http://www.cambriahebert.com.

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Book Blitz: Chasing Fireflies by Claudia Y. Burgoa

Chasing Fireflies 
by Claudia Y. Burgoa 
Publication date: September 9th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

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Book Synopsis:

USA Today Bestselling author Claudia Burgoa brings you an emotional and inspirational story that will tug on your heartstrings. 

The first time I met Oliver Tanner he was five years old. 
I was four. 
That day he was entrusted to my keep.
He was as large and loud as a church mouse. 
That day I taught him how fireflies were magic with the persistence of a person. 
That’s what I loved about them. 
No matter how far they strayed, 
they remembered where they came from and who their family was. 

After high school, he joined the army and left Knox Ridge.

Years later, the town had changed.
My dreams were shattered. 
We had nothing left.
I had forgotten all about the magic of the fireflies.
Until he came back to town. 
Everything about him was comforting. 
He brought some light to my darkness, 
But I knew the light could only last for so long. 
Fireflies only stay for the summer.
He had outgrown our small town. 
It was time for me to stop chasing fireflies. 


Excerpt:

Kit Kat,

Death isn’t kind. It just takes people away. It doesn’t care who you are, what you’ve done, or who will miss you when you’re gone. It just rips people apart.

Today, I almost left. I don’t fear death. I fear leaving you behind. I fear not telling you how I feel about you. How I have felt all these years. You’re the only thing I think about when we’re out scouting. You’re the one thing that gets me to sleep at night. You’re the most important person in my life, and the worst part about being out here is knowing that I might never see you again.

I’m not exactly sure when I fell for you. But I know I have feelings, and they burn stronger every day. Your letters are what keep me alive in this sea of bullets, blood, and sand.

Mine isn’t a fairytale. Maybe a morose story with a bittersweet ending. Though I pray that someday I can see your beautiful face again. Some days that feels like an impossible fever dream.

I wish I were home with you right now, or that I was brave enough to send you this letter.

Always Yours,

Oliver


Giveaway:

Giveaway ends September 26th.

The grand prize is:

  • $50 Amazon gift card

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2f00f39935/


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Claudia is an award-winning, USA Today bestselling author. She lives in Colorado, working for a small IT. She has three children and manages a chaotic household of two confused dogs, and a wonderful husband who shares her love of all things geek. To survive she works continually to find purpose for the voices flitting through her head, plus she consumes high quantities of chocolate to keep the last threads of sanity intact.

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