Thursday, August 17, 2017

Blog Tour: Three Player Game by Jaime Samms ~ Guest Post #Excerpt #Giveaway




Author: Jaime Samms
Book: Three Player Game
Bluewater Bay Universe
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Cover Artist: LC Chase
Publication date: August 14, 2017
Length: 284 pages


Synopsis

Vince’s life has improved immeasurably since he moved to Bluewater Bay two years ago. He’s gone from working for a man he hated, to helping found a company he believes in. And he and his boyfriend, Pete, have built a delicate balance of power between them that keeps them both grounded and thriving.

Almost, anyway.

Pete’s job on the set of Wolf’s Landing is demanding. He needs lots of downtime off set, and that’s where Vince’s firm but gentle control isn’t always enough. And for Vince, Pete’s constant high-energy needs are turning out to be more than he can handle alone.

It’s no surprise to either of them, then, that sparks fly when Vince’s coworker Lee enters the picture. Outwardly, Lee is tough and confident, but when a bad back confines him to Pete and Vince’s spare room, the cracks start to show and his desire for connection begins to peek through.

Pete and Vince both like what they see under Lee’s prickly outside, but now the three men must learn that love isn’t about beating the game—it’s about balance, trust, and letting each other in.


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Guest Post

The Sweetness of Memories

Lee loves his lemon tarts. And there’s a story behind why he loves them so much. The story doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to anyone but Lee. Even when he tells it to Vince, he gets questions. But it doesn’t really matter what anyone else thinks about it. Lee loves the tarts.

When I was a kid, we used to spend about a week in the late summer picking chokecherries, cleaning them, boiling them up to make jam. As an adult, I’ve done it a few times, and it’s a total PITA. It takes days of hard work, and yet I remember the task fondly. (I doubt my mother does, though.)

To this day, there is nothing you can put on toast that is as delicious as chokecherry jelly. Many people tell me it’s too tart. That jam is meant to be sweet and sugary, or chunky with fruit. And that’s as may be for them, but for me, the memory of the hours picking berries and the long days boiling the berries and straining out all the pulp makes the jam just as sweet as it needs to be.

So when Vince knows the story behind Lee’s love of lemon tarts, doesn’t get the story at all, at first, and yet brings him lemon tarts to cheer him up anyway, you know Vince understands what’s truly important about those confections. Lee’s memories of them are the sweet bit. Perhaps for Lee, what came after that one memory isn’t as nice. But then, maybe, for him, the tart lemon against the sweet, sugary topping is the whole point, because memories aren’t just one thing, but many. Just as desserts should have a depth and breadth of flavour expressions, so our memories have many facets.

For Lee, overcoming the more difficult memories of his childhood and early years when he was on his own, is the step that brings him closer to making new, sweet memories with his new-found lovers. Maybe he never loses his taste for tart and sweet together, but then, maybe, that’s why he fits so well between Vince and Pete.

What about you? Comment with a story about your favourite dessert below, and we’ll enter you to win a copy of my first Bluewater bay book, How the Cookie Crumbles, as well as a $10.00 Riptide gift certificate.

All the names will be “put in a hat” so to speak, and the draw made at the end of the blog tour.





Excerpt

Chapter One
Lee
 
Lee moaned. Cool sheets and a too-soft mattress cushioned him. The constant, low hum of an air conditioner pried its way into his skull, and he rolled over to put a pillow over his head. The movement caused a rather more vocal groan as his back gave a heaving spasm.
“The fuck,” he mumbled, collapsing to a prone position. The heavy, ice-pick ache began mid-back and radiated downward until, his body tried to curl his hips up to relieve the pain, and he couldn’t quite breathe.
Not this again. What did you do this time, asshole? He wished he couldn’t still hear that voice in his head. Maybe it was his own by this time.
“Shhh!” Hasty footsteps approached, but Lee couldn’t bring himself to open his eyes to find out whose. “Don’t move.” A hand settled on his shoulder, holding him still, startling him tense, but the pressure remained firm, not rough.
“Too late,” he muttered, trying to subdue the automatic, defensive tension.
“Here. I got you some pain relief and a glass of water. They’ll make you drowsy, but that will help you stay still, and I’ll be here, so you’ll fine.”
Lee pried one eyelid up as best he could to see the base of a drinking glass with a straw. A well-manicured hand came into view with two little pills. He recognized them and knew they’d knock him out before long, but it was true. That would be a good thing right now. Feeling much like a helpless kitten, Lee opened his mouth. The hand placed the pills carefully on his tongue, then the drinking end of the straw came into view. He sipped and swallowed and closed his eye again.
“Thanks.”
“Sure.”
A nervous silence stretched, underpinned by the continual rumble of the air conditioner wafting a slick of cooler breeze over his bed. Otherwise, the room was unnaturally silent. Like a sound-proofed hotel room. For an instant, he forgot his injury and tried to sit up.
“Nope!” That hand came back to his shoulder and urged him down. Not that he needed the urging. The pain took the last ounce of his strength, and he flopped with a tiny, pathetic mewl.
“The fuck?” he asked again after he’d managed to slow his shallowed breathing.
“You got a little . . . tipsy . . . last night,” his benefactor informed him. “Slipped off the curb coming out of the bar, and I guess wrecked something in your back. Blaire had to fly home this morning, but he paid for the room for another two nights and told me to let you sleep and return with you when you’re ready.”
Lee sighed and opened his eyes. About halfway through that spiel, he’d recognized Vince’s voice, and had started to recall the night before. The three of them, Lee, his office mate Vince, and their boss, Blaire, had flown to Vancouver to meet with some backers about an investment in their new company. The investor had wanted to meet all the players, so they had trouped across the border and sat down to dinner with the woman.
She’d turned out to be an enthusiastic patron of all things cosplay and video gaming, and an especially zealous fan of Wolf’s Landing. The trip had been worth their time. Her backing was going to pay for the additional filming they wanted to do for the Wolf’s Landing video game background, as well as some of the short CGI movies based on the game’s story that Blaire wanted to make for advertising. After their investor had said good night, the three of them had celebrated with a few drinks.
Lee hadn’t been that intoxicated. But he had been tired and his body already abused. The day before the trip, he’d finally pulled all his belongings from storage, where they had languished after his dismissal from Caruthers Industries and his eviction from the furnished company apartment eight months ago. His smaller, less glamorous, but more affordable apartment hadn’t even come with a kitchen sink. He’d had to get the plumbing fixed before he signed the lease. Then, he’d procrastinated for months getting the bulk of his things out of the storage unit and up to his place. The only upside was that it was closer to their new offices, but hauling all his boxes up four flights of stairs in one day, then jumping on a plane to Vancouver the next, had wrecked him. Air travel always left him nauseous and uninterested in food.
It did explain why a few drinks had shot him past his limit so much faster than normal. When they’d left the bar for the cab to the hotel, a curb had done him in.
His feet had flown out from under him, and he’d landed—hard—on his ass.
“Fuck me,” he muttered.
The bed dipped and he whimpered again.
“So I called the nurse hotline,” Vince said.
“The whatnow?” Lee covered his eyes with his arm, but lifted it just enough to peer at the younger man’s earnest face.
Vince consulted a pamphlet in his hand. “HealthLink BC, actually. They have a sort of hotline to answer questions and advise you if you need to see a doctor in person. The nurse didn’t seem to think it was crucial until you get home. But he did recommend you ice the muscles in your back to get some of the swelling down. He said it should hurt less once you’d iced it, but if it didn’t, you should go to a clinic.”
“I am not going to any clinic.”
“Well, we’ll see.” Vince pushed his glasses more firmly onto his nose with a thumb at the bridge. “Right now, I need you to roll a bit so I can get the ice pack under you.”
“I’m not moving.”
“You have to. A tiny bit. I can help.”
“I don’t need your fucking help.”
“Lee, this is important. If you want to hurt less, you have to do this.”
“I don’t have to do fuck all. Maybe I like pain.”
“I know you like being a pain. But no one likes to be in agony. So here. Take my hand.” Vince held out a hand to Lee. “Use your stomach and arm as much as you can. Roll toward me, and I’ll slide the ice pack under you.”
Lee glared at him. “I’m not six.”
Vince stared back, lips pursed.
“Go away. Fly home, little mouse.”
Vince’s brows drew together, displacing his glasses a bit, and he tilted his head to one side, but he didn’t lower his arm or rescind the offer of his hand. “Mice don’t fly. What kind of metaphor is that?”
“Bird, then,” Lee snapped. “Fly away home, little fucking bird.”
“You swear a lot, you know. Maybe think about that.” Vince curled his lips to one side and thumbed his glasses.
This time, Lee stared at Vince, scowling as hard as he could. But Vince remained where he was. The stalemate lasted a good two minutes before Lee finally caved.
“Fine.” He pushed himself onto his side, the pain making a gray haze crowd his vision from all sides. Vince hastily stuffed the ice pack under him, and Lee flopped back. Dark spots swam over the room, and he huffed, sweating and panting as the pain tore up and down his back in waves of flame and lava.
“That would have hurt less if you’d let me help.”
“Fuck. Off.”
“And it’s official. You make a lousy patient.”
“Nice bedside manner.”
Vince smiled sweetly. “Kill them with kindness, my mom always said.” He got up and wandered to the table near the window. “We’re supposed to leave the ice for no more than ten minutes, then keep it off for twenty or so. If you aren’t asleep by then, we can reapply.”
“Reapply this,” Lee muttered, tossing Vince a middle-finger salute, then throwing his arm over his eyes. He must have fallen asleep fairly quickly, because he wasn’t aware of Vince removing the ice.



About Bluewater Bay

Welcome to Bluewater Bay! This quiet little logging town on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula has been stagnating for decades, on the verge of ghost town status. Until a television crew moves in to film Wolf’s Landing, a soon-to-be cult hit based on the wildly successful shifter novels penned by local author Hunter Easton.

Wolf’s Landing’s success spawns everything from merchandise to movie talks, and Bluewater Bay explodes into a mecca for fans and tourists alike. The locals still aren’t quite sure what to make of all this—the town is rejuvenated, but at what cost? And the Hollywood-based production crew is out of their element in this small, mossy seaside locale. Needless to say, sparks fly.

This collaborative story world is brought to you by eleven award-winning, best-selling LGBTQ romance authors: L.A. Witt, L.B. Gregg, Z.A. Maxfield,  Heidi Belleau, Rachel Haimowitz, Anne Tenino, Amy Lane, SE Jakes, G.B. Gordon, Jaime Samms and Ally Blue. Each contemporary novel stands alone, but all are built around the town and the people of Bluewater Bay and the Wolf’s Landing media empire.

Check out Bluewater Bay! Riptide Publishing



About Jaime Samms

Jaime has been writing for various publishers since the fall of 2008, although she’s been writing for herself far longer. Her Stories about men falling in love are the stories that she loves to read, so it seemed to make sense if she was going to write, they would also be the stories she wrote.
These days, you can find plenty of free reading on her website. She also writes for Various Publishers.
Spare time, when it can be found rolled into a ball at the back of the dryer or cavorting with the dust bunnies in the corners, is spent crocheting, drawing, gardening (weather permitting, of course, since she is Canadian!), or watching movies. She has a day job, as well, which she loves, and two kids, but thankfully, also a wonderful husband who shoulders more than his fair share of household and child-care responsibilities.
She graduated some time ago from college with a fine arts diploma, and a major in textile arts, which basically qualifies her to draw pictures and create things with string and fabric. One always needs an official slip of paper to fall back on after all . . .
Find Jaime:





 Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Three Player Game, one lucky winner will receive an ebook copy of How the Cookie Crumbles and a $10 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on August 19, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Random Review: Leo Loves Aries by Anyta Sunday #Review #Giveaway





Author: Anyta Sunday
Book: Leo Loves Aries
Series: Signs of Love #1
Self Published
Publication date: December 4, 2016
Length: 278 pages

Reviewed by Meredith


Synopsis

A new person will enter your life in the early year, Leo. Look past any moments of frustration they might bring and laugh—this could be the start of a thriving friendship.

Theo Wallace usually laughs at the horoscopes his mom sends. Still hung up on his ex-girlfriend and practically friendless, this one begs him to reconsider. Because a friendship that stuck, that thrived…

Well, that would be a reason to leave past pains behind and look to the Bright Future.

When his sister Leone challenges him to find her the perfect date for a spring wedding, Theo uses it as a chance to make new friends. Theo’s ex economics tutor and newest roommate Mr Jamie Cooper seems to be a possible and convenient match. Real convenient. Like written in the stars, convenient.

All he has to do is make sure this Jamie is good enough. Could really be the one for her, and the friend for him.

But watch out, Leo, the stars have a surprise in store…







Review

Leo Loves Aries? Yeah, how about Meredith Loves Anyta! For like ever! I have yet to read a book by this author that doesn’t end with me in a book hangover. I want to eat her words for real. She just gets how moments should be written, how characters should be, and how emotion is truly felt.

I fell in love with this book one page in. It was so easy to adore these characters. Let’s talk about them, shall we.

Theo and Leone are twins (brother and sister) their relationship is the kind of sibling relationship we all want. Leone is legally blind and to watch Theo make sure her life is easier and organized made me smile. I hope this isn’t giving anything away but it will show you the picture of their relationship. He asks her what book her book club is reading next and she says it’s one that’s not on audiobook yet so she’s going to pass on it. And what does he do? He says, “I’ll read it to you.” Yep… swoon! His personality is outstanding. He’s witty, funny, and like a cool breeze on a warm day.

Jamie. He’s a smarty. He’s the reliable guy who cares about people and loves them through his actions. He becomes their roommate and it’s like life was never better without him. He makes sure they eat well, take care of themselves and not because he’s older or wiser but because he’s a genuinely AMAZING person.

When Theo tries to pair up his sister and Jamie… Well, that is when it gets even more interesting and fun.

I don’t want to give away this book but oh my god, read it. It’s a light read but it will make you smile and tear up in the best way. Your heart will burst with the love. The dialog is off the charts amazing. I can’t recommend this book enough!


Giveaway

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Contest ends on August 31st!
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Blog Tour: Becoming Andy Hunsinger by Jere' M. Fishback #Excerpt #Giveaway





Title:  Becoming Andy Hunsinger

Author: Jere' M. Fishback

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: Aug 14, 2017

Heat Level: 2 - Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 64200

Genre: Historical, friends to lovers, college, coming out, coming-of-age, historical, drug/alcohol use


Synopsis


It’s 1976, and Anita Bryant’s homophobic “Save Our Children” crusade rages through Florida. When Andy Hunsinger, a closeted gay college student, joins in a demonstration protesting Bryant’s appearance in Tallahassee, his straight boy image is shattered when he is “outed” by a TV news reporter. In the months following, Andy discovers just what it means to be openly gay in a society that condemns love between two men and wonders if his friendship with Travis, a devout Christian who’s fighting his own sexual urges, can develop into something deeper.


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Excerpt

Becoming Andy Hunsinger

Jere’ M. Fishback © 2017

All Rights Reserved



Chapter One



On my seventh birthday, my parents gave me a Dr. Seuss book, The Cat in the Hat.



I still have the book; it rests on the shelf above my desk, along with other Seuss works I’ve collected. Inside The Cat in the Hat’s cover, my mother wrote an inscription, using her precise penmanship.



“Happy Birthday, Andy. As you grow older, you’ll realize many truths dwell within these pages. Much love, Mom and Dad.”



Mom was right, of course. She most always was. My favorite line is this one:



“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”



***



Loretta McPhail was a notorious Tallahassee slumlord. On a steamy afternoon, in August 1976, she spoke to me in her North Florida drawl: part magnolia, part crosscut saw.



“The rent’s one twenty-five. I’ll need first, last, and a security deposit, no exceptions.”



McPhail wore a short-sleeved shirtwaist dress, spectator pumps, and a straw hat with a green plastic windowpane sewn into the brim. Her skin was as pale as cake flour. A gray moustache grew on her wrinkled upper lip, and age spots peppered the backs of her hands. Her eyeglasses had lenses so thick her gaze looked buggy.



I’d heard McPhail held title to more than fifty properties in town, all of them cited multiple times for violation of local building codes. She owned rooming houses, single-family homes, and small apartment buildings, mostly in neighborhoods surrounding Florida State University’s campus. Like me, her tenants sought cheap rent; they didn’t care if the roof leaked or the furnace didn’t work.



The Franklin Street apartment I viewed with McPhail wasn’t much: a living room and kitchen, divided by a three-quarter wall; a bedroom with windows looking into the rear and side yards; and a bathroom with a wall-mounted sink, a shower stall, and a toilet with a broken seat. In each room, the plaster ceilings bore water marks. The carpet was a leopard skin of suspicious-looking stains, and the whole place stank of mildew and cat pee.



McPhail’s building was a two-storied, red-brick four-plex with casement windows that opened like book covers, a Panhandle style of architecture popular in the 1950s. Shingles on the pitched roof curled at their edges. Live oaks and longleaf pines shaded the crabgrass lawn, and skeletal azaleas clung to the building’s exterior.



In the kitchen, I peeked inside a rust-pitted Frigidaire. The previous tenant had left gifts: a half-empty ketchup bottle, another of pickle relish. A carton of orange juice with an expiration date three months past sat beside a tub of margarine.



Out in the stairwell, piano music tinkled—a jazzy number I didn’t recognize.



McPhail clucked her tongue and shook her head. “I’ve told Fergal—and I mean several times—to close his door when he plays, but he never does. I’m not sure why I put up with that boy.”



McPhail pulled a pack of Marlboros from a pocket in the skirt of her dress. After tapping out two cigarettes, she jammed them between her lips. She lit both with a brushed-chrome Zippo, then gave me one.



I puffed and tapped a toe, letting my gaze travel about the kitchen. I studied the chipped porcelain sink, scratched Formica countertops, and drippy faucet. Blackened food caked the range’s burner pans. The linoleum floor’s confetti motif had long ago disappeared in high-traffic areas. Okay, the place was a dump. But the rent was cheap, and campus was less than a mile away. I could ride my bike to classes and to my part-time job as caddy at the Capital City Country Club.



Still, I hesitated.



The past two years, I’d lived in my fraternity house with forty brothers. I took my meals there, too. If I rented McPhail’s apartment, I’d have to cook for myself. What would I eat? Where would I shop for food?



Other questions flooded my brain. Where would I wash my clothes? And how did a guy open a utilities account? The apartment wasn’t furnished. Where would I purchase a bed? What about a dinette and living room furniture?



And how much did such things cost? It all seemed so complicated.



Still…



Lack of privacy at the fraternity house would pose a problem for me this year. Over summer break—back home in Pensacola—I’d experienced my first sexual encounter with another male, a lanky serviceman named Jeff Dellinger, age twenty-four. Jeff was a second lieutenant from Eglin Air Force Base. I met him at a sand volleyball game behind a Pensacola Beach hotel, and he seemed friendly. I liked his dark hair, slim physique, and ready smile, but wasn’t expecting anything personal to happen between us.



After all, I was a “straight boy,” right?



We bought each other beers at the tiki bar, and then Jeff invited me up to his hotel room. Once we reached the room, Jeff prepared two vodka tonics. My drink struck like snake venom, and then my brain fuzzed. Jeff opened a bureau drawer; he produced a lethal-looking pistol fashioned from black metal. The pistol had a matte finish and a checked grip.



“Ever seen one of these?” Jeff asked.



I shook my head.



“It’s an M1911—official air-force issue. I’ve fired it dozens of times.”



Jeff raised the gun to shoulder height. He closed one eye, focused his other on the pistol’s barrel sight. “Shooting’s almost…sensual.” Then he looked at me. “It’s like sex, if you know what I mean.”



I shrugged, not knowing what to say.



Jeff handed the pistol to me. It weighed more than I’d expected, between two and three pounds. I turned it this way and that, admiring its sleek contours. The grip felt cold against my palm and a shiver ran through me. I’d never fired a handgun, never thought to.



“Is it loaded?” I asked.



Jeff bobbed his chin. “One bullet’s in the firing chamber, seven more in the magazine; it’s a semiautomatic.”



After I handed Jeff the gun, he returned it to his bureau’s drawer while I sipped my drink, feeling woozier by the minute. Jeff sat next to me, on the room’s double bed. His knee nudged mine, our shoulders touched, and I smelled his coconut-scented sunscreen.



Jeff laid a hand on my thigh. Then he squeezed. “You don’t mind, do you?”



I looked down at his hand while my heart thumped. Go on, chickenshit. He wants you.



I gazed into Jeff’s dark eyes. “It’s fine.”



Moments later, my swim trunks lay in a corner and Jeff knelt in front of me, slurping away. Currents of pleasure crept through my limbs, and then I felt a buzzing between my legs. When I came, I thought I’d pass out. I closed my eyes and drew a deep breath. Then I watched fireworks explode inside my head.



Jesus, this feels good. Why haven’t I done this before?



Thereafter, we rendezvoused several times during summer, always at the same hotel.



“I get a military discount here,” Jeff explained.



I quickly learned the basics of male/male sex from Jeff, and each session proved better than the one before. During these meetings, Jeff introduced me to anal intercourse, something I’d never dreamed I would do.



The first few times, Jeff took a passive role. But then he asked me to surrender my cherry, and I acceded. Jeff’s initial penetration felt painful, but soon I relaxed, and I discovered a side of myself I hadn’t known existed. A fullness and warmth crept through my body as Jeff thrust inside me. The whole thing felt so…natural.



Whenever I lay in bed with Jeff, after sex, I always rested my head on his chest, and while I listened to his heartbeat I felt like a guy released from jail. I knew I was queer then—there was no doubt about it—and the realization made me feel a bit foolish, like I was the last guy at the party let in on the joke. I was a faggot, a fudge-packer, a butt pirate. My attempts at dating women had been a ruse—I’d only done it to fit in with my fraternity brothers—and what a waste of time it had been for all concerned.



Like most guys, I’d masturbated chronically since my early teens, and now I knew why visions of naked men crept into my thoughts whenever I did so. Now I knew why my friends’ girlie magazines had never held my interest. No wonder showering with my PE classmates in high school had thrilled me so.



It all seems stupid in retrospect. How could I not know I was gay? But in 1976, most guys weren’t in touch with their inner selves. I don’t know why, but we weren’t. Feelings weren’t a topic of male conversation. Emotional needs took a backseat to more “important” matters: achievement, sports, and politics—“normal” concerns, if you will.



My summer with Jeff changed all that, for me at least. In the sexual sense, I had found my mother lode. I belonged in the arms of a man—I would settle for nothing else—and I was fine with it. But now fall had arrived, and I would live in Tallahassee again. I couldn’t drive to Fort Walton Beach every weekend. That would mean a three-hour drive on monotonous Highway 90, passing by cow pastures and slash pine forests, just to meet up with Jeff. And how much sense did that make? I needed a boyfriend who lived nearby, and assuming I found one, I would face a few problems.



If I remained at the Lambda Chi house I’d share a room with a fraternity brother, so I’d have no privacy. Plus, the guys at Lambda Chi wouldn’t understand if I dated another male, no way.



Wasn’t it time I had my own place?



Now, in her run-down rental apartment, McPhail blew a stream of blue smoke. After the cloud rose to the kitchen’s cobwebbed ceiling, she looked at me with her insect eyes.



“Well?” she said.



I studied my shoes and licked my lips. Go on: do it.



I swung my gaze to my future landlady.







Where do the stories come from?

People ask me where my ideas for my stories come from, and I always have to tell them, "I don't know." When I start a new book, I only have a character in mind who has a problem or a challenge to face and I know the setting for the story, that's about it. I never outline my books, I could not imagine doing so because my stories develop as I go along. After a while I find the characters are telling me what to write and where they want to the story to go. I know that sounds strange but it's true.



Meet the Author

Jere’ M. Fishback is a former journalist and trial lawyer who now writes fiction full time. He lives with his partner Greg on a barrier island on Florida’s Gulf Coast. When he’s not writing, Jere’ enjoys reading, playing his guitar, jogging, swimming laps, fishing, and watching sunsets from his deck overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway.


Links



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