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Kayelle Allen’s space opera: filled with characters you’ll never forget

Today we welcome Kayelle Allen, who I met on her site, Romance Lives Forever-  reading her story, I see we have a lot in common! I hope you enjoy meeting her and finding out about her books.

 

boc1-2-nik-smile-read450Thanks for being with us today. First, would you tell us a bit about yourself?

Thank you for inviting me! I write Science Fiction and Fantasy, Space Opera, YA, and in the past, have written erotic romance. I’ve moved toward a more PG version of story these days.

I’ve been published since 2004. Believe it or not, no one had ever heard of a Kindle back then. We published eBooks, which people had no idea what to do with. Indie publishing was in its infancy. At that time, people still thought “self-published” meant you weren’t good enough to get a “real book” published. They had no idea the number of years it could take to get a book released, if you could even get someone to read your submission in the first place. Compare that to a turn around of a few months if you are indie.

The publishing business went through a revolution, and some of the biggest publishers from that time are gone. Mostly, they failed to keep up with the changing times and embrace the new technology. I’m a dinosaur in the indie world, but I’ve loved seeing the changes as they occur and applaud the freedom it has given writers. Currently, I am 100% indie published.

What area of the country do you live in, do you have a family, pets, etc.

I live north of Atlanta, GA in the rural area of the state. No pets, but I have dog-grandbabies if you know what I mean. Married forever, three grown children, five grandchildren. Huge extended family of people I have heart-adopted.

Are you a coffee fiend, or do you have another “addiction” you must have on your desk at all times?

I like coffee, but my doctor doesn’t want me imbibing caffeine, so I drink decaf. My drink of choice while writing is water or a caffeine-free Diet Coke.

What’s your education, if it’s relevant to your writing, and how does that education help you/or do you find that you can write well even without the diploma others might think they must have?

I went to college but as far as writing goes, I am self-taught. A lifetime of reading and writing, studying, taking online courses, and polishing my skills has given me a much higher polish than someone with formal education and no experience.

 

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Tell us about your most recent publication/whichever book you’d like to talk about today?

The Bringer of Chaos series is currently two books and a short story, but it will be bigger before I’m done with it. I have two more books in mind and another short story. Currently, readers can download the short story, Lights Out, free when they join one of my reader groups. I’ll leave a link at the end. Here’s the blurb for book 1 of the series.

Bringer of Chaos: Origin of Pietas

Exiled to a barren world, the immortal king Pietas must learn to humble himself and ask for help–politely. Without assistance, he might spend an eternity alone, never finding the people he has already died over a thousand times to save.
The problem is, the only source of aid is a human, the very one who caused his exile in the first place.
Immortal. Warrior. Outcast. Traitors took everything. Except his honor.

What inspired you to write this story?

I had written a book about Luc, a popular character in my story universe, and was working on a sequel. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get the villain to be the villain. I literally rewrote the entire book nine times. Finally, a friend sat down with me and started asking me questions about my so-called villain. Turns out, Pietas wasn’t a villain at all. I was looking at the wrong aspect of the story altogether. So I decided rather than finish that book, I’d write a short story about the “villain” so I could understand his motivation. Two books later I’m still writing about Pietas. Turned out he was a hero who masqueraded as a villain in order to accomplish a greater purpose. That’s how the entire Bringer of Chaos series was born. I should mention that Pietas is immortal, so he has appeared in books that range thousands of years in date.

What interesting thing did you learn or research to write it that you didn’t know before?

I learned that there was a human at the center of the story that I had never considered before. I wrote Six as a convenient walk on part to get the story where it needed to go, but the more I wrote, the more I saw an opportunity to develop Pietas by reflecting him off the human. Six’s origin story is told in Lights Out, the free book I mentioned before.

What’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today?

The wry humor. Pietas starts out as a downright jerk in the first part of the story, but as you move through the tale, you start to see that his “jerkness” is part of an act, a shield to guard his heart. He’s honorable and just, opposite of what he perceives humans to be. Until he gets to know Six. And because Six refuses to take life seriously, and Pietas is all about duty and honor, the friendship that develops between them is one hot mess.

Any special memories you have in the creation of it?

I had a lot of one-on-one chats with a friend over this book. She guided my creation of Pietas and Six both. I’m forever grateful for her influence.

How would you best describe your books?

I write space opera with larger than life, unforgettable characters. Read one of my books and you will remember the people you met while you walked in my world.

What is your favorite genre to write?

Space Opera/Science Fiction. I grew up on it. One of my best friends writes historical westerns. She has to often stop and look up a word to see if it was in use back then. I have to stop and look in the lexicon that I created to see if the word I need is one I already created. Like “Imperinet” — the imperial internet in one period of my story world.

To read?

You might laugh, but one of my favorite reads is Regency Romance. I just finished one by Alexa Aston that I absolutely adored. I also read suspenseful stories by authors like Michael Connelly, JD Robb, and Lee Child. I read in my genre too. I want to know what trends are being followed. I plain love any good story.

What do you most like about writing?

World building I think, although when I can figure out how to layer in a character from another book into a new one, I get a kick out of that too. I wrote a lexicon of Felis, the language used by feline-humanoids in my books. There are only a handful of words in any book, but I have nearly forty pages of text I can choose from to create a sentence or phrase when I need one. For example, kahmay t’hahr means “hero of my heart” and it’s a term of endearment.

Least like?

About the writing process? The time it takes. I wish I could dump stories from my head straight into the computer. What a timesaver that would be!

When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

I was about four or five. My mother loved to write and she was an artist. I learned to write the word cat in school, came home and told my mother that now I could write a story about cats. Fast forward many years, my first book featured a hero who was a HalfKin, a mix of human and feline-humanoid. Didn’t even make the connection until a few years ago.

Do you belong to any writing groups?

I’m in several. I am currently studying Derek Murphy’s Guerrilla Publishing, which includes both writing and marketing, plus I’m the founder of Marketing for Romance Writers, a peer-mentoring group for authors. We help each other find promotional opportunities and serve as a sounding board for questions about the writing business. We also promote for our members. It’s 100% volunteer run, so there are no fees.

Are there any writing websites you find particularly useful?

I read the blog posts on Romance University, Save the Cat!, and many others. I’m always up for suggestions on good sites for writers.

Is there any special music you like to listen to while writing?

It’s listed as Epic, Sweeping, and Movie Trailer Music. Try these groups for size: Really Slow Motion (yep, that’s their name), Audiomachine, Epic North, Future World Music, and (very badly named in my opinion) Two Steps from Hell. Their music is heavenly.

boc1-2-nik-unbreakable450How does it inspire you?

I can tune out words and listen to sweeping music that inspires creativity. Depending on the book, of course. I wrote one book to the tunes of Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, and Chevelle. Go figure.

Do you belong to a critique group?

I lead the Canton Writer’s Circle, a group that has met for about six years. I’ve published several books while a member here. One of my beta readers is a member, and one of my developmental editors is as well.

What do you find most valuable about the experience?

I get honest feedback. I’m still after six years learning to shut up and listen when my fellow members suggest something. I try not to defend what I wrote. They are not there to tell me what I did wrong, but how I might make it better. Do I always take their advice? No. We joke about taking advice “under advisement” meaning — yeah, no.

Tell us a little about your path to publication. How many books have you published?

I have fourteen publications, with a mix of books and short stories. I started out in small press.

How many books did you write before selling one?

My first book was accepted on submission, but I had a friend who guided me on where to go.

How did you find a publisher?

I was recommended to my first publisher by a critique partner (in a different group from the one I’m in now).

How did you receive the Call?

Getting an email asking for the rest of the story was a thrill, believe me. I can remember everything about where I was and what I was doing the moment I got that message.

What are you writing now?

I’m writing A Stolen Heart, which is a full novel set in the Tarthian Empire and features Luc and Pietas (thousands of years after the Bringer of Chaos series). My first published book was At the Mercy of Her Pleasure, and A Stolen Heart is about how the hero of that book ended up being adopted by Luc.

What’s next for you—will you be making personal appearances anywhere our readers can find you?

I’ll be attending OutlantaCon in Atlanta as a guest next March. I’m there every year and have a lifetime membership. I am planning others as well. Readers can check my schedule on my website.

What would you like to tell readers?

Try one of my books and give my characters a shot. Once you meet them, you’ll be hooked. You can sample any of my books by visiting my website. Each book has a page where you can download a few chapters and check out the story. Plus, if you join one of my reader groups, you get the entire story Lights Out free, plus a starter set of four illustrated books. https://kayelleallen.com/reader-groups/ You can unsubscribe at any time.

Can you learn by reading fiction? Author Pamela Cummins thinks so!

Check out this blog post from author Pamela Cummins, who finds value in reading fiction for gaining knowledge—even romance books! Not only can you study human nature, but also learn facts about history, famous people and more. I know this to be true, reading author Kathy Otten’s Western historical romances. I was lucky enough to be part of her critique group , and learned all kinds of things, even how to birth a calf with your own hands!!

 

I’m proud to be one of Pamela’s “favorite authors”– why don’t you jump aboard??

Are you prepared for these futures?

When science becomes a weapon:

Cloning. Accelerated growth of replacement organs. DNA repair. In 2096, all are possible. And forbidden by law. Three people will defy these laws to save the life of eleven-year-old Zelimir, who will die a slow, painful death from a horrifying genetic disease.

Zelimir’s father hires Torver Lockwood and Demetria Greyson to find a cure for his son. Both have a personal stake in this illegal research. A cure may help explain why Torver is able to see into people’s pasts and why Demetria has visions about a violent future.

But, once developed, the solution could be used as a powerful weapon that can target specific genes. With the chance that the cure may fall into the wrong hands and start a new reign of terror, will Torver keep the secret to himself, at the cost of one small life?

SYNERGY by M. D. Benoit
The Mundial Trilogy – Book 1
https://www.zumayapublications.com/store/synergy/

Bio-terrorists release a plague in the United States that spreads to kill most of the world’s Caucasian population. As the deadly virus mutates, Tzu Shin, a renowned medical doctor and biologist, defects from China to help develop a cure. His only daughter, Lin Kwan, is left behind in Hong Kong with her aunt.

Then Kwan’s father summons her from across the sea to bring him Chinese medicinal herbs he needs to develop a cure. Lonely and missing her parents, she accepts the challenge, traveling with her sensei Li Zhong to the New World.

But a Chinese assassin is on her trail, determined to kill her and Li Zhong, and when Kwan discovers her father has disappeared, she sets out on a journey to find him and deliver her precious cargo, a quest that she may not survive.

WINDMILLS by Lyndi Alexander
The Color of Fear – Book 1
https://www.zumayapublications.com/store/windmills/

My interview with R. Kyle Hannah

I’m the star of the show over at the Writing and Rambling blog today. Please stop by and learn what I’m working on, what I’m passionate about, and why I have new kitties. 🙂

 

Image may contain: cat, flower and plant

The sadness of being relevant: White Supremacy isn’t history, friends

Authors often agonize over whether their books will remain relevant, especially those who write young adult stories and others that use a particular setting or set of jargon to make their points. Even as I wrote the Color of Fear series, critique mates would point out the use of SoCal cadence in Valery Paz’s “Valley Girl speak,” and pop culture references in the banter of electrogeek Eddie Garrick. (It’s true, though–you can’t stop the signal.)

The series tells the story of a world hit by terrorism, and the apocalyptic plague that has wiped out most of the Caucasian population of the world. Mixed blood has saved some whites, but the majority of the survivors, especially in the hard-hit United States, are people of color. Blacks. Native Americans. Asians. Hispanics.

While those people are trying to recover and pull together the remains of the shattered nation, from out a concrete bunker in the northwest comes Bernard Ellison, the self-styled Gabriel, a ideological brother-son of the Posse Comitatus, the American Vanguard and other white nationalists. Gabriel commandeers an abandoned radio station and broadcasts to the faithful:

“How long, my friends, have those terrorists been watching and listening to our communications, so that they knew precisely when to strike? Bin Laden and his people clearly read our country’s weakness. The Universal Jihad Front that launched the Second Holocaust, they, too, understood how far our leaders had left us vulnerable. Listen to this.”  He played the government spokesman’s clip Eddie had played on his show a few days before. “Does that sound like a government that can protect you, my friends? I think not!

   “Without a strong, healthy government to keep those foreign devils off American ground, do you believe they just stayed home and played in the sand? How do we know they didn’t take advantage of the apocalypse to begin landing ships on our unprotected shores, spilling thousands of them out to take your wives and daughters? Will they recruit those of color who survived in this land? They are banding together, taking aim at the real Americans who are left.”

   The propaganda-filled diatribe paused for a moment, then continued, “My friends discovered a nest of potential murderers right here in our heartland just last night. We’d tried to contact these rebels, to show them the truth, but instead, they returned threats and violence. They ruined a major highway!”

   A note of stricken sadness came into his voice. “Now crossing our great land will be so much more difficult. Why do these people insist on destroying the world?”

***

At about the same time in the story, a small band of people trying to get to St. Louis, where the new capital is forming, have this conversation with a ham radio operator who’s keeping them informed of the state of the nation:

  “KC-five-NXS, KC-five-NXS, this is K-two-JJB. Hang, are you there? What’s going on?”

   “KC-five-NXS, yes, I’m here.” Hang settled onto the floor in front of the radio as the others gathered around. “Thanks for getting back to me. I wanted to let you know we’re going to be delayed—”

   “What? I don’t think you can wait any longer, son. Word came down this morning that Gabriel’s on the move. His people set off explosives all along the stretch of I-Eighty between Omaha and Lincoln, knocking out the road. It’s impassable.”

   “Cabron,” Valery hissed.

   San eyed Charlie, his worst fears coming to life. Yeah, I do know what I know, fool. “We need a map,” he said.

   “I got one in the truck,” Terry said, and he hurried out.

   “Why would he do that?” Hang asked. “Don’t his people need to get around, too?”

   “Word has it that some groups in the two cities planned to set up a blockade, aiming to take Gabriel out. Apparently he just got the jump on them. He’s celebrating on his damned station, claiming the other side was the attacker. I’m not sure how much of what he says you can believe, but we’ve got confirmation from our men on the ground that there are plenty of dead, and they aren’t Gabe’s people.”

   “Whoa.” Deflated, Hang leaned back against the bookshelf where the radio sat.

   “How many dead?” Marie asked.

   “Reports range from just a few to hundreds, depending on who’s telling the story.”

   Terry came back with the map, and they spread it out on the table. Mere inches separated Lincoln from their intended route on Interstate Seventy, inches that translated into only one hundred and seventy miles. And they still had three states to cross moving east.

 

Sound familiar? Does it sound like “Many sides” are at fault? How much more relevant can you get?

***

THE COLOR OF FEAR SERIES from Zumaya Publications and Lyndi Alexander 

Book One–WINDMILLS

Terrorists launch a plague in the United States that spreads to kill most of the world’s Caucasian population. As the deadly bioweapon mutates, Tzu Lin Kwan’s father, a renowned medical doctor and biologist, defects from China to MB910216387help develop a cure. His  only daughter, Lin Kwan, is left behind in Hong Kong with her aunt.
Then Kwan’s father summons her from across the sea to bring him Chinese medicinal herbs. Lonely and missing her parents, she accepts the challenge, traveling with her sensei Li Zhong to the New World.
But a Chinese spy is on her trail, determined to kill her and Li Zhong, and when Kwan discovers her father has disappeared, she sets out on a journey to find him and deliver her precious cargo, a quest that she may not survive.
Buy it here!   Find out more and see some excerpts here and here and here.… and another posted by Sharon here !  And a really nice one by Sandy Dailey here.
For an interview with Lin Kwan, see the blog with Sharon Buchbinder here. So many choices she has to make, and they can mean life and death for the world.
NOW AVAILABLE!! Book Two in the series–DESTINATIONS!

DestinationsWEBfs

Xi San saved the life of a mysterious girl one night in his ravaged San Francisco neighborhood. He can’t get her out of his mind, but believes that she’s lost to him. Lin Kwan came to America to bring her scientist father Chinese medicinal herbs, hoping to stop the virus that killed most of the world’s Caucasians before it mutates to infect the rest of the world. On her way to finding him, she meets again the man who once saved her, a man she can’t forget.With a diverse group of fellow travelers, they head for St. Louis, where civilization is being rebuilt. Between them and safety, danger lurks—Gabriel, a self-styled religious leader and white supremacist, who has organized his army from Upper Midwest survivalist and militia followers, determined to take revenge for the white man.

But Gabriel isn’t their only enemy. Before they reach their destination, they will battle nature, prejudice and even those hidden among them who wish their destruction.

Now available at Amazon.com and other online booksellers. Or place an order through your local indie bookstore!

 

Book Three–ADVERSARIES   Coming Soon!

After terrorists unleash a virus on the world that kills most of the Caucasian population, Lin Kwan has finally found her scientist father in America and can deliver the precious herbs he asked her to bring from China. But their reunion is nothing like she expected.

Survivalist and white supremacist Gabriel leads his army of Angels against the new U.S. capital of St. Louis, determined to punish those who lived through the horrors of the virus and re-establish whites as the ruling class. He plans to tear out the heart of the city by first destroying its heroes, then negotiating its surrender.

Xi San, Valery Paz, Eddie Garrick and the other survivors rally to fend off Gabriel’s attack, only to find their city under siege from a much more insidious opponent–the remains of the federal government bureaucracy, which insists on taking control.

And assassin Jin Piao has never been closer to his objective, now that Kwan, her father and the healing medicines are within his grasp. Will he follow his orders and kill them, to save his own wife and child?

Welcome to DESTINATIONS!

I traveled to Austin, Texas this week at the invitation of my publisher, Liz Burton of Zumaya Publications, for a launch party for the second book in the Color of Fear series, DESTINATIONS.

IMGP1978The first adventure was tracking down the books. Liz had brought so much stuff for Zumaya, that she’d inadvertently left the box with the books at home. She had to send someone to get them.  So we sold other books and held on to the dozens of colorful cupcakes she ordered for the occasion.

IMGP1972Little Miss was a great help. 🙂

Along with Rie Sheridan Rose and Gloria Oliver, we got the table inventoried and set up while we were waiting. The dealer’s room was populated with really nice people–I’d never heard of Armadillocon, but it appears to be a science-fiction based con, with a lot of really interesting discussions and panels from the Aztecs to the DNA of mummies. Who knew?

Finally we got the table set up, the drawing ready to go and we let her rip!

IMGP1980The afternoon went faster than I expected, and the books looked great. I had to laugh that the guy across from us tried a unique technique to attract readers. He tied his book to a long string and set it in the middle of the floor, drawing them in a bit at a time.

 

 

 

IMGP1982

All in all, it was a huge amount of fun meeting these writers and readers. We had a great day and followed it with a wonderful dinner.

IMGP1989I  finally got to wear the new outfit I got for the signing but didn’t get time to change into before the books got found! Thanks, Megan for the beautiful green manicure!

If you couldn’t get to Austin this weekend, remember you can order your very own copy of DESTINATIONS on Amazon.com or other online booksellers:

 

 

Xi San saved the life of a mysterious girl one night in his ravaged San Francisco neighborhood. He can’t get her out of his mind, but believes that she’s lost to him.

Lin Kwan came to America to bring her scientist father Chinese medicinal herbs, hoping to stop the virus that killed most of the DestinationsWEBfsworld’s Caucasians before it mutates to infect the rest of the world. On her way to finding him, she meets again the man who once saved her, a man she can’t forget.

With a diverse group of fellow travelers, they head for St. Louis, where civilization is being rebuilt. Between them and safety, danger lurks—Gabriel, a self-styled religious leader and white supremacist, who has organized his army from Upper Midwest survivalist and militia followers, determined to take revenge for the white man.

But Gabriel isn’t their only enemy. Before they reach their destination, they will battle nature, prejudice and even those hidden among them who wish their destruction.

AND there’s a Goodreads giveaway for a copy of WINDMILLS and DESTINATIONS through August 7–https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/99329-windmills  PASS IT ON!!

Have you met Eddie yet?

eddieEddie Garrick is one of my favorite characters of the Color of Fear series–he’s telling the story of his journey across a virus-devastated America in the Splendid Expedition of Eddie Garrick, Esquire.   Come check out his backstory, and get ready for the next book, DESTINATIONS, coming from Zumaya Publications in July 2014.

10277557_718917614818052_6745750604964634946_n

Are you ready for Eddie?

Eddie Garrick, teenage electrogeek and wunderkind

Eddie Garrick, teenage electrogeek and wunderkind

Today begins a new column here at the Worlds of Fancy, where one of the characters in The Color of Fear series gets the chance to share his story, one that isn’t told directly in WINDMILLS or DESTINATIONS. His life and journey, however, impact all the other characters’ lives in ways they could never have suspected.

Credit Flickr Photos, Donna Sutton Creative Commons license

Credit Flickr Photos, Donna Sutton– Creative Commons license

Eddie’s wry observations of life on the road as he leaves the home he’s always known in San Francisco for a life away from the smell of death and the danger of the street gangs. He didn’t intend to go alone, but when his best and only remaining friend Xi San refused to give up his self-appointed job as vigilante protector of their Pacific Heights neighborhood, he didn’t have much choice.

Eddie may no longer have the cutting blog he loved back when they had internet as free as running water, but he can cut and piece a good journal together. You’re invited to come along on his journey. You might see some country you’ve never seen. You might meet some people you’d never have imagined you’d know. But you will meet one indomitable spirit, who helps save what’s left of America after the terrorist attack known as the Second Holocaust.

Windmills Finalbanner2Read The Splendid Expedition of Eddie Garrick, Esquire now!

(For more on the story, click the WINDMILLS tab above–and stay tuned for DESTINATIONS, coming this summer from Zumaya Publications!)

Like your shapeshifters… coldblooded?

asmalldegreeofhope3So excited that A SMALL DEGREE OF HOPE is back on the “shelves” as a Kensington product now– check it out!

Great new reviews, too–

“…highly recommend this story to young adult to adults who enjoy a smart, well written, interestingly different sci-fi story with lighter romance in it.” Open Book Society

“The author grabs you in the beginning of this amazing story and doesn’t let go. I loved it. I loved the characters; Kylie–she rocks, I’m in awe of her. She’s tough, not perfect, and totally loyal to her family (sort of) and job. Then of course Griff, so sweet and loving and sexy in both forms…” Up All Night, Read All Day Reviews…

Time to get your copy now! At Amazon for Nook

Sometimes you just shouldn’t mess with the woman… SFFS for February 1

MB900337348Today’s snippet comes from WIP JOURNEYS, the second volume in the Color of Fear series, that follows WINDMILLS. Lin Kwan and Valery Paz have started their trip east to find Kwan’s father in Cincinnati, carrying their precious medicine, but one of their traveling companions has come up on the losing end of a meeting with a rattlesnake. They stop in Holden, Utah to pick up some medicine at what they think is an abandoned drug store. But they’re not quite right about that:

***

The display came crashing over on top of Kwan, driven by a heavy male body that took her down. Her head hit the floor and she blinked dizzily, trapped under the man’s weight. Light flashed off the barrel of a gun in his right hand.

   She reached out almost instinctively, grabbed the gun from the inside of his grip with her left hand as she flexed her knee into his crotch. He pulled back and she planted her foot solidly in his midsection and pushed, squeezing her fingers tight on the gun, his momentum allowing her to pry it into her own hand. She slapped it into her right, pointing it at him.

   Surprised blue eyes locked with hers. “Now just take it easy, miss—”

   Another gun cocked, above them. Valery said, “No, chief, you take it easy—get your ass up and I won’t put a bullet in your head.”

***

Windmills1If you’re interested in catching up on the first part of the story, you can find the sci-fi YA post-apocalyptic novel WINDMILLS at Amazon or Barnes and Noble .

Bio-terrorists release a plague in the United States that spreads to kill most of the world’s Caucasian population. As the deadly virus mutates, Tzu Shin, a renowned medical doctor and biologist, defects from China to help develop a cure. His only daughter, Lin Kwan, is left behind in Hong Kong with her aunt.

Then Kwan’s father summons her from across the sea to bring him Chinese medicinal herbs he needs to develop a cure. Lonely and missing her parents, she accepts the challenge, traveling with her sensei Li Zhong to the New World.

But a Chinese assassin is on her trail, determined to kill her and Li Zhong, and when Kwan discovers her father has disappeared, she sets out on a journey to find him and deliver her precious cargo, a quest that she may not survive.

Book two should be released some time this summer, and carries the story east as Kwan and her companions head for what remains of civilization in the east, perhaps St. Louis, Cincinnati or beyond, unaware that danger travels with her every step of the way.

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