Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Release Blitz: Under the Cherry Tree by Lilac Mills



Chick Lit
Date Published:  05/31/2017
Only $0.99!

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“A feel-good, heart-warming, tear-jerking love story.”
The best sort of holiday read, recommended for fans of Jane Costello, Erica James, and Lucy James
“My dog didn't like men. Actually that was a lie – she didn't like the men I chose. The only ones who rocked her world had been my father (who was no longer with us), Ross (who was gay), and the butcher on the high street (for obvious reasons).
When Jenni Meadows has the opportunity to expand her dog-grooming business she takes it, and when a nice man appears on her horizon but fails to make any sparks fly, she decides she has enough on her plate with her business without adding a boyfriend into the mix. 
Besides, Millie doesn’t like him and when her dog doesn’t like a man, Jenni knows all about it. So why does Millie take a very strange liking to the new vet, especially since he has a taciturn expression, wears a wedding ring, and wields a needle? 
Under the Cherry Tree is a tale of love and hope, waggy tails, and cold noses.


Excerpt 

His name was Rupert, and that should have told me all I needed to know. Not that I’m nameist or anything, but with a name like that there was no way he came from the council estate up the road; the other kids would have decimated him! And he wasn’t a kid, not by a long stretch, not if that chest and those arms were any indication. He was tall too, like many rowers tend to be.

Rupert and I moved in entirely different circles, and I don’t know what on earth possessed me to agree to go out on a date with him, though the three glasses of white wine I’d drunk may have had something to do with it. I was drinking for two, because Amber had just that morning found out she was pregnant, and that meant I had to drink her share. Oh, and don’t forget that chest. It bulged and rippled and clung to his body like I wished I could. I only took my eyes off it long enough to make sure he didn’t have two heads. The face above a set of extremely broad shoulders looked nice enough, so I didn’t bother to check again.

But why the hell had I agreed to let him take me shooting? Who actually did something like that on a first date? Dinner, a drink, maybe a concert, ice-skating at a push – but definitely not clay pigeon shooting.

The only redeeming thing was that he told me I could bring Millie. And did I mention his chest?  If that’s what rowing did for a man, I made a vow to meet more rowers (if this one didn’t pan out).

Rupert the Rower. I should have realised, even without the accent, that he was way out of my league. He was an ex-Kings student (private school – very private, because mummy and daddy had to have a great deal of money to send their children there, and he was the youngest of three boys).

Then there was the house, or should I say, mansion. As I trundled up the gravelled drive in my little Micra, Millie panting on the passenger seat, I was under the impression this was where the shooting meet was taking place, not that Rupert actually lived there.

I pulled my ten-year-old car into a space between a brand-new Range Rover and a top-of-the-range Jag, and clambered out. Hollington Hall. Nice. I wondered if they did wedding receptions. Not that I had any plans on getting married any time soon (had to find the right guy first), but it was something to consider for the dim and distant future. At least I wasn’t like some of my friends who had picked the dress, the shoes, and the bridesmaids’ outfits, all before their sixteenth birthdays! I was merely mildly interested.

Surprisingly, for a hotel, the front door was firmly closed.

After unclipping Millie from her harness, I carried her up the steps and placed her gently on the ground between a pair of tall columns, and tried to turn the door handle. Locked.

There didn’t appear to be a bell, but there was a huge knocker in the shape of a lion’s head, so I banged it a couple of times and waited until  it was opened by an elderly woman in a pinny. She frowned at me.

‘I’m here for the shooting,’ I said.

She gave me a blank stare.

‘With some guy called Rupert? Sorry, I don’t know his last name.’ Perhaps I hadn’t got the right place either, because the large hallway behind her looked nothing like a hotel reception area. It lacked a front desk, for starters. A sleepy spaniel lifted its head and blinked, but made no move to get up. It was probably so used to guests that another one, even one with a dog, was nothing to get excited about.

‘Master Rupert,’ the woman said, issuing me with a stony stare.

‘Pardon?’

‘His name is Master Rupert Hollington.’

‘I thought Hollington was the name of this place?’

‘It is.’ She opened the grand door a little wider, and moved to the side with a sigh. ‘I’ll let him know he has a guest.’

I stepped into the hall, my eyes on stalks. Rupert Hollington of Hollington Hall. Rupert the Rower, who’d gone to Kings and had a plummy accent, and who thought taking a girl clay pigeon shooting on a first date was a good idea.

I wanted the highly polished, black-and-white tiled floor to open up and swallow me.

The maid/servant/housekeeper (I had no idea what to call her – she might be his long-suffering nanny for all I knew) stalked down the hall and disappeared through a door at the far end, leaving me to stare up at the sweeping staircase with my mouth open. The place was huge!

‘Jessie, how lovely you could make it.’ Rupert strode up to me, both hands outstretched, and moved in for a double cheek peck.

‘Jenni,’ I corrected him, mortified.

‘Are you sure?’

‘Erm…yes?’

‘Jenni it is then, though I could have sworn you told me your name was Jessie.’

‘It was noisy in the pub,’ I said, trying to make him feel better, though to be fair, he didn’t seem in the least bit fazed that he’d got my name wrong.

Never mind, it was an easy mistake to make.

‘I see you’ve brought your dog,’ he said. ‘Does it retrieve?’

I glanced down at Millie, with her white fluffy fur and pink diamante collar. ‘Not even a stick,’ I admitted, wondering why he thought a West Highland Terrier would double up as a retriever. Now if he’d asked about her ability to dig holes…

Rupert looked a little put out, but recovered quickly. ‘No bother. Just don’t let it off the lead, or it might interfere with the real dogs.’

Was he calling my dog fake? Huh! She was as doggy as any other canine.

I had a feeling this date wasn’t going to go as well as I’d hoped, especially when he asked, ‘Are your wellies in the car?’

Wellies? What wellies? Oh dear; I hadn’t thought to dress for mud, assuming my leather boots and chunky jacket would be outdoorsy enough. Clearly not. When I took the time to really look at him, I realised he was wearing a Barbour jacket and a pair of green Wellington boots. Both the jacket and the wellies were liberally spattered with mud.

‘Is the shoot in a field?’ I asked, pleased to be able to display some shooting terminology.

He gave me an odd look. ‘Where else would it be?’

Maybe I should have done a bit more research on Google. ‘I’ve never handled a gun before,’ I admitted. ‘The only thing I know about it, is that you call “pull” and then do your best to hit the thingy.’

I was unprepared for his sudden burst of laughter. ‘Oh, my dear girl, you’re priceless!’

‘Eh?’ So what if I didn’t know the correct term for those flying disk things? I’d already confessed I knew nothing about shooting.’

‘We’re shooting pheasant,’ he said, taking my arm and guiding me towards the door he had appeared from.

I pulled back. ‘Wait. What? As in real, live birds?’

He nodded.

‘Ew. No thanks.’

‘You don’t have to touch them,’ he said, giving my arm a tug.

It wasn’t the touching which bothered me – it was the killing itself. Millie, close by my side, gave a small grumble in the back of her throat, half warning, half concern, and nudged my leg with her nose. I bent to pat her, using the movement as an excuse to shake off his hand.

‘Is it friendly?’ he asked, leaning forward and holding out his fingers for her to sniff.

Millie drew back behind my legs.

‘She,’ I emphasised the word, ‘is perfectly friendly.’ And Millie promptly made me into a liar by emitting a low growl.

I tugged at her lead in annoyance, vowing to give her a good telling off later. Not that it would do any good; if a dog had to be admonished for bad behaviour, the ticking off had to take place immediately after the event, else the dog would have no idea why its owner was cross.

‘I don’t think shooting is for me,’ I said, and turned to leave. Even if Rupert suggested doing something else instead, I wasn’t sure he was my kind of guy.

Millie simply confirmed my thoughts when I glanced down at her.

She was weeing on his wellies.


About the Author

Lilac spends all her time writing, or reading, or thinking about writing or reading, often to the detriment of her day job, her family, and the housework. She apologises to her employer and her loved ones, but the house will simply have to deal with it!
She calls Worcester home, though she would prefer to call somewhere hot and sunny home, somewhere with a beach and cocktails and endless opportunities for snoozing in the sun…
When she isn’t hunched over a computer or dreaming about foreign shores, she enjoys creating strange, inedible dishes in the kitchen, accusing her daughter of stealing (sorry – “borrowing”) her clothes, and fighting with her husband over whose turn it is to empty the dishwasher.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Book Review: The Traitor's Club: Ford by Laura Landon

The Traitor’s Club: Ford by Laura Landon



Publisher & Release: Kindle Press, May 30, 2017

Time and setting:  1857, London

Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian

Book Length:  122 pages

Heat Level: Mild

Rating: 3.5 Gold Crowns

Book Description: 

Captain Fordham Remington has survived countless dangerous missions fighting the foreign enemies of the Queen while maintaining his cover as a traitor to the Crown. Now he undertakes the far less threatening assignment of finding out who is stealing from Her Majesty’s shipping company, and nearly gets himself killed.

Lady Calinda Barclave has worked alongside her grandfather, Admiral Barclave, to run Her Majesty’s Crown Shipping Company for four years. When she’s unable to discover who is behind the company’s shortage in profits, she turns to the dashing Captain Remington for help. But when she discovers his betrayal, she realizes she’s lost the shipping company she loves. And her heart along with it.

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Vikki’s Musings

I have been a fan of Laura Landon for many years, so when I discovered The Traitor’s Club: Ford on Net-Galley I just had to read it! Thanks go to the publisher for allowing me to read and review prior to publication.

The Traitor’s Club: Ford is a lightning-fast-paced novella, which I read so fast, at times, I wish it had slowed down a bit. Since this is a novella, I missed the deep level of emotion usually found in one of Ms. Landon’s books. That is not to say it was too superficial, but just did not have the emotionally-charged story I have come to expect from this author.

Lady Calinda Barclave was disappointed in love in the past and is determined to never suffer that loss again. When she meets Ford Remington, she tries to ignore the immediate attraction she feels for him. 

Fordham Remington spied for Her Majesty during the Crimean War, a bloody and brutal conflict. The queen needs his service. While he does not want to put his life on the line yet again, the prize offered will help so many of his less fortunate comrades who suffered from the war, so he reluctantly accepts.

Ford quickly finds himself losing his heart to the woman he is investigating. While he may not lose his life in the queen’s service this time, he may lose the love of this astonishing woman when she learns of his deception.

Calinda is a likeable heroine, but I would have liked more depth. Since this book is so short, the character development was not deep. Nonetheless, I did have a glimpse of her strong family connections, which helped me become vested in her.

Ford is a hero I could love, but again I would have liked more emotion from his character, so I never fully fell in love with him. I did enjoy his loyalty to his brothers-in-arms, and his strong desire to help the widows and orphans left destitute.


If you are looking for a quick read with a good deal of action, and a clean and wholesome romance, then you will enjoy The Traitor’s Club: Ford. While this book is not my favorite by Ms. Landon, it did keep me engaged. Happy reading!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Release Blitz: Starshine by Melody Winter


Contemporary Romance
Date Published: 29th May 2017

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Film student Ella Summers can’t believe her luck when she is selected to work on the set of the most anticipated film release of the year—STARSHINE. For the next four weeks, she’ll be in the studio with heart-throb and leading man Alex Denton, and his co-star—and recent ex—the stunning Amy Strickland.

But her first day on set has her questioning the true character of the enigmatic and sexy Alex. The charming celebrity she’s adored on screen disappears before her very eyes—if indeed he ever really existed.

Off-camera arguments between Alex and Amy become difficult to ignore, and when Ella uncovers layers of deceit and closely guarded secrets between them, she becomes involved in a battle that has far-reaching implications.

With the paparazzi hounding her every move for the most sensational story they can get, Ella becomes deeply embroiled in Alex’s life. Can she break down his seemingly impenetrable walls, or will he remain the arrogant ass she first met?

STARSHINE is set in London, England. Beware though—Alex Denton has a crude mouth, and an equally wicked smile.

  

Excerpt

The silence was suddenly broken by the thud of distant music and the roar of a car engine. I glared at the car as it sped along the road toward the bus-stop, and inwardly cursed the idiot behind the wheel.
My glare turned into a worried frown when the silver car slowed down and stopped at the bus-stop. The dark tinted passenger window slowly hummed down, and the thud of music turned into a deafening roar.
The driver of the car was revealed—Alex Denton.
He raised his eyebrows, before lowering his gaze and taking in the sight of my dress clinging to my legs. I was glad I had a cardigan on, no matter that it looked like a wet sack now. At least he couldn’t see my bright pink bra, one that would be very visible underneath a practically transparent wet dress.
Alex licked his bottom lip as he stared at my legs, and I realised that the relief I had felt that he couldn’t see my bra due to my cardigan, had been misplaced. The modest woollen covering wasn’t long enough to cover my lower half. My matching pink pants would be very visible and I suspected that they were what Alex Denton was looking at.
“You’re wet!” he shouted above the relentless thudding of the music.
“You noticed!” I yelled back, wondering why he hadn’t turned the music down if he wanted to talk. I toyed with the idea of whether to accept a lift or not if he offered me one. The thought of being trapped with him in a car had always been a dream of mine, but after everything else that had happened today, I didn’t know whether I had the strength to spend even one more second in his scintillating company. But I was tired and I wanted to get home as quickly as possible. The thought of racing through London in his very expensive sports car, or trudging through traffic on a crammed public bus for a good thirty minutes made my mind up. I’d accept the lift if he offered. If he was sarcastic with me, I could just ignore him. Maybe he’d even mellow a little and I’d get to see what he was really like when he wasn’t in the same room as Amy.
He slowly lifted his hand, curling his finger to beckon me toward the car.
I took one step forward, stopping abruptly as he held his hand up in a halt position. Now what was he doing?
“You really are very wet!” he said before reaching forward and flicking a small silver switch on the central console. The music died, leaving the sound of the engine idling.
“No shit, Einstein. It has just poured down,” I said, my voice edged with sarcasm.
His jaw tightened at my response, and his eyes drifted down my body again.
“Hot pink?” he said, although it sounded more like a question.
I knew exactly what he was referring to. My cheeks heated as I pulled at the front of my cardigan, but it was no use. It wouldn’t stretch to cover my lower body. Knowing there was nothing I could do about my see-through dress, I gritted my teeth and offered Alex a stony stare. One that dared him to continue with his next response.
“I like it,” he said.  “Not as slutty at red.”
My body tensed. My nostrils flared as more heat flushed my face. Did he just refer to me as being slutty?
He smiled before pulling a sudden poker face. I was so wrapped up in thinking of a response to his somewhat undisguised insult that I didn’t see the bus approach.
“Shit,” I murmured, as it rumbled past Alex’s car. The next bus wasn’t due for another hour.
Alex watched the bus as it disappeared down the road and then turned to face me.
“See you tomorrow, Work Experience Girl.”
He grinned and winked at me as the car window hummed shut. The loud music started again and the engine revved several times before he sped off in the same direction as the bus.


About the Author

Growing up, Melody Winter showed a natural ability in art, a head for maths, and a tendency to write far too long English essays. Difficult to place in the world when she graduated, she pursued a career in teaching, but eventually ended up working in finance. Melody is convinced that the methodical time she spends working with numbers fuels her desire to drift into dream worlds and write about the illusory characters in her head.

Melody lives in North Yorkshire, England, with her husband and two teenage sons. When not dealing with football, rugby, and a whole plethora of ‘boy’ activities, she will be found scribbling notes for her stories, or listening to 80’s music on her IPod.

Melody has a tendency to fall head-over-heels in love with her main characters, even when they frustrate her and refuse to act the way she wants them to. She is a romance writer at heart and loves reading and writing about anything mythological or magical, as well as exploring the gritty side of love affairs and the complexities of being in love.

SACHAEL DREAMS was her debut novel, (REUTS Publications, USA) and the first in the New Adult Romantic Fantasy series—the ‘Mine Series’. The second book in the series, SACHAEL DESIRES’, was released in November 2015, and the remaining books in the series, SACHAEL DELUSIONS, and, SACHAEL DESTINY, are due to be released in the near future.

Melody has also self-published two books, INIQUITY, the first book in a Dark New Adult Romantic Fantasy series— ‘The Ascent’ (The second book in the series, ADVERSITY, is due for release later this year.) and STARSHINE, Melody’s first contemporary romance,  released 29th May 2017.

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Book Review: The Last in Love by Terri Osborn

The Last in Love by Terri Osburn


Publisher & Release: Montlake Romance, May 30, 2017

Time and setting:  Present Day, Ardent Springs

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Book Length: 269 pages

Heat Level: 2 Flame

Rating: 5 Gold Crowns

Book Description: 

Abby Williams lost her husband—and the future she envisioned—to a roadside bomb in a foreign land, so a kitchen fire is no big deal. When the local firemen show up to put out the blaze, the army widow finds herself attracted to one hot volunteer firefighter…until she realizes it’s Justin Donovan, a man five years her junior.
Justin has long carried a torch for Abby. But after she got married ten years ago, he put her out of his mind, left Ardent Springs for Chicago, and got a job as a real estate developer. Now he’s back—for reasons he’d rather not share—and he wants to prove to Abby that age is nothing but a number. Will Abby’s reluctance and Justin’s secrets extinguish any attempts at romance? Or will the sparks between them ignite a second chance at love?

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Vikki’s Musings

Wow, I just love Terri Osburn’s down-to-earth characters and intriguing plots. The Last in Love is another awesome read. Thanks goes to the publisher and Net-Galley for allowing me to read this book in advance of publication.

Since the death of her husband, Abby Williams has just been going through the motions of living life. When she became a nurse, she wanted to help sick people, but the everyday duties have lost their appeal. She craves a career that will use her creative heart, but not until she’s laid off due to budget cuts, does she realize it.

When a kitchen fire brings Justin Donovan into her life, she’s amazed at the attraction she feels for this man who is five years younger than she. She watched him when she was a teenager so surely nothing can come of the spark between them.

Justin has always felt attraction to Abby since he was eighteen, but she had married, so he tried to move on. When the fire opens up possibilities, he blazes in. He’s not going to let this chance pass him by.

Can Justin convince Abby that the five years are unimportant, or will she deny what she feels and pass up on a chance for a forever kind of love?

I became enmeshed with these characters from the first page and remained so until the last. The pacing is excellent and kept me involved throughout the book. The plot is great, the characters are engaging. I love how Ms. Osburn develops her characters. This is definitely a character-driven novel. Her characters are real and so believable. They are flawed and do and react as someone in real life would to events that unfold in their lives.

Abby is an endearing character. I could feel her emotions as if they were my own. I loved her kind heart. She is a loyal friend and a great sister. She loves her mother and is not afraid to let anyone know how she feels. I enjoyed her internal struggle to accept that it’s okay to be older than Justin.

I loved Justin’s character from the first page to the last. His determination to convince her to give him a chance touched my heart in a big way. What I thoroughly enjoyed about Justin was his wonderfully flawed character. He experiences emotions that anyone in his situation would feel.


Bottom-line, this is a feel-good story with great characters and an interesting plot. I’m so glad I found Ms. Osburn’s books and can’t wait for her next one. I just love Ardent Springs and the wonderful characters in this small-town USA creation of the author’s imagination. Happy reading!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Book Review: Merely a Marriage by Jo Beverley

Merely a Marriage by Jo Beverley


Publisher & Release: Berkley Original, May 30, 2017

Time and setting:  1817, England

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

Book Length: 384 pages

Heat Level: 2 Flames

Rating: 4 Gold Crowns

Book Description: 

As England mourns the death of Princess Charlotte, Lady Ariana Boxstall has another succession in mind. Her brother, Norris, is a strapping young man, but he’s also happily unmarried and childless. Norris agrees to take a wife on one condition: that Ariana take a husband first. Although she realizes she risks a lifetime in a loveless marriage, for the sake of her family, Ariana accepts his challenge. 

When the Earl of Kynaston met Ariana eight years ago, he broke her heart. Since then, his own heart has been broken, and he’s sworn off love...until he sees Ariana all grown-up and his resolve is threatened.  

Could Ariana’s bargain with Norris actually lead her to happiness? With real love on the line, she must win over the one man who refuses to be had.

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Vikki’s Musings

Jo Beverley was one of my all-time favorite historical romance authors. I wept when I heard she had passed last May. I have read many of her books, and I also have quite a few in audio. I never tire of the wonderful Georgian world she created in her Malloran series, along with the Regency world in her Company of Rogues series.

Merely a Marriage paints the picture of her Regency world. While this book may not have had her final touches on it, I still enjoyed it. All the sexual tension she was a master at, is in this book. The pacing is wonderful, the characters vivid and the plot is well-thought out with a great many twists and turns.

Arianna is a troubled heroine with very poor self-esteem. As a young girl, she received her fair share of unkind, and at times, brutal comments for something she had no control over. While I did struggle with her thought processes, I still liked her character and was glad she got her happy ending.

Kynaston is also a troubled character. I would have liked to spend more time in his POV to better understand his anguish, but I could still feel his pain. I sensed his struggle because he is attracted to Arianna from the beginning. I will say, I would have liked his secret brought to Arianna’s attention sooner since so many people knew his story. That would have added more to the story.


If you love Jo Beverley’s writing, then you will still want to read her last book, even though it is not her finest. She will be greatly missed by all who enjoyed her books. Happy reading!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Miga Giveaway Blitz






RomanceRockStars.com is hosting this giveaway. Winners must be 18 or older. United States and Canada only to ship the Kindle Fire. Otherwise, we can send the money for the kindle fire by amazon giftcard anywhere in the world. We will not sell or distribute your email address or any other information to any other company. Your information is for our blog only, to notify winners, and send prizes.





Grand Prize is a Fire Tablet with Alexa, 7" Display, 16 GB + 3 ebooks  and a second winner will receive a $10 Amazon Giftcard.


Backhand by Elise Faber


For A Little While by Mary J. Williams


Freeze Frame by Freya Barker



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Thursday, May 18, 2017



Romance, Mystery
Date Published: February 2017
Only $0.99

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The fate of two best friends and the secret love between them is known only to a mysterious figure who offers to aid one in hiding the truth from the other...lest their lives and love meet a tragic end.

When Olivia Villalobos finds a bloodstained love letter she endeavors to deliver it before Chief Inspector SedeƱo finds it in her possession.

A city along the southern coast of Puerto Rico emerges in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War. Olivia, daughter of a drunkard police investigator who never knew the truth behind her mother’s disappearance, finds a bloodstained love letter in the hidden compartment of her father’s coat. Convinced it belonged to the man recently found dead she sets out to deliver it to the Labyrinth of Love Letters. A mysterious place believed to be an urban legend where the transients of forbidden love leave missives for one another. She enlists the help of Isaac Quintero to find the Labyrinth and they soon realize their quest has opened the door into Old Sienna’s darkest secrets—the perils, madness and depth of tragic love.

About the Author


Felix Alexander (1976-Present) is a Mexican-born, American-raised novelist, and poet of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent.

Acclaimed by readers for his poetic prose, his indie releases include: Dear Love: Diary of a Man's Desire, a collection of love letters and poems; The Romantic: A Love Story; and most recently an epic historical fantasy Shadows of Time: The Amulet of Alamin along with a mystery-thriller The Secret of Heaven.

Being third-generation military, after a grandfather and uncle who served in the Korean War and Vietnam War, respectively, Alexander is proud of his service in the U.S. Army, and grateful for his experience.

After his honorable discharge from the U.S. Army, he embarked on the long and arduous journey of a writer. Having made a name for himself during his tenure, serving his country, he vowed to himself and his fellow soldiers that he would answer his true calling.

When not spending time with his children, a son and daughter, he journeys through the portals in his extensive, personal library. When he returns, he immerses himself in his writing, and pursues the scent of his muse.

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