Monday, August 11, 2014

Character Interview: Vic from The Troublesome Apprentice





Today, I am interviewing the Troublesome Apprentice himself Victor Hamilton.
Aleah: Victor, welcome to my blog.

Vic: Call me Vic.
Aleah: Of course. Can you tell me what caused you to decide to live your life as a man instead of young woman?
Vic: *eyes narrow* Who told you that?
Aleah: It’s in the blurb Liza wrote.
Vic: Oh, that can only be seen by people of 21st century.
Aleah: That is correct.
Vic: Then all is well and I can answer your question.
Aleah: Excellent. Did you always want to be a boy?
Vic: No. I was perfectly fine being a girl when we lived on our farm in Oklahoma. We weren’t homesteaders, mind you. Father had bought our land outright. It had a reliable water supply and good soil. Still, there was no end to the work needing done. I was his little helper and my younger sister Claire helped our mother. I remember out last summer. The crops had never looked better. Mother fretted we’d never get it all canned. Papa promised her he’d hire help if she needed it. While our farm thrived, that was not the case on much of the homestead land.  They would be more than happy to help us if we shared our bounty.
Aleah: And did they?
Vic: The week before we planned to harvest, dark clouds descended with wild winds and hail the size of my fist. We ran inside and then to the basement as our roof gave way under the constant assault.  We were all terrified, and water was rushing in from the first floor. I had never seen my father so angry. When the storm finally passed we climbed out of basement and stared silently at destruction before us. Everything was gone or crushed. Not just our crops…our house was gone as well. Mother burst into tears and father took her into his arms and held her. Claire burst into tears as well and so I gathered her in my arms and promised her all would be well.
After my mother steadied, Father returned to the basement and brought up a knapsack of canned foods and filled water canisters. He told us we were leaving. We’d never survive the winter if we stayed.
I looked about for our cart and horses, but the barn was gone. It was as if God had erased everything we’d built over the last ten years in just a few hours.
We walked for several days before we met a man on a wagon who offered to give us a lift to Tulsa. From there we took a train to New York City, where we boarded a ship headed to England. Father said his sister Maddy would give us shelter.
Aleah: And did she?
Vic: Yes, but only Claire and I were alive to receive it.
Aleah: What happened?
Vic:  I’m sorry. I’m not ready to talk about it.  Perhaps we can talk of something else
Aleah: Of course. Let’s learn more about the book…
(Note from Liza. This background story of why Vic’s family left America to return to England was inspired by a true event from my grandmother’s diary.)


The Adventures of
Xavier & Vic
Book 1
The Troublesome Apprentice
By Liza O’Connor

Cases Solved:
The Key to Aunt Maddy’s Death
The Missing Husband of Mrs. Wimple
The Disappearing Scarlet Nun
The Clever Butcher’s Wife
The Rescue of Lady Anne


While investigating the death of a friend and client, Maddy Hamilton, Xavier Thorn (reputed to be the greatest sleuth in England) is greatly impressed with Maddy’s nephew, Victor, and offers him a job as his secretary. Aware of Xavier’s history of firing secretaries, Victor garners a promise that for three months he cannot be fired. Vic then proceeds, in Xavier’s view, to be cheeky and impertinent at every turn.
Xavier endures the impudent pup because Victor is most skilled in extracting the truth from clients and intuiting facts with little evidence to assist. As they solve a string of cases, Xavier discovers a few more important details about his troublesome apprentice, such as her true gender, and the realization that she has awakened his long dormant heart.




Vic knelt down to reduce her height and reached to the sill of the fireplace. “What if he knocked over the vase when searching the sill, then feared the item might have been in the vase and had fallen into the embers?”
“A reasonable possibility. Do you think he recovered what he sought in the ashes?”
“No, for he continues his search. You can see soot on the coffee table and side table drawers.” Vic pulled them open to study the contents. Dark smudges marred the napkins and doilies in the top one. The other, however, was completely empty. “How odd.”
“What did the bottom one have in it?”
“Buttons.”
“As in buttons for dresses?”
“Rather too bold for a dress, although some had been snipped from coats. Aunt Maddy collected fanciful buttons.” Vic stared at Xavier’s suit. “The ones on your vest would have caught her eye. I used to tease her she was part crow, for they are reputed to have a weakness for gewgaws.”
Pain filled her heart. She’d never tease Aunt Maddy about anything ever again. She paused and choked back the tears threatening to fall.
“Were they valuable?” Xavier’s voice lost its bark.
“Some had jewels embedded, but nothing one would kill for.” Vic shook her head. “I don’t think he came for Maddy’s collection, I think he simply couldn’t resist it once discovered.”
“I agree. How did you reach your conclusion?”
“Because he now searches the desk. If he had come for the buttons, he would have left directly.”
“And how did you determine he searched the desk last?”
“The footprints show he went first to the fireplace, and from there we can follow a trail of soot until we reach the small side table. It is here the soot stops. Perhaps he took out his handkerchief, wiped his hands, before bundling the buttons in the cloth. With his hands now clean, he ran them through his hair, either because he has a nervous tick or perhaps a stray lock had fallen into his eyes. Intending to search elsewhere, he walked to the door and tried to open it. In doing so, he left an oily residue from his hand. Finding the library door locked, he returned to the desk and, using the letter opener, pried free the center drawer.” Vic opened the desk drawer and frowned at the chaos. “He certainly searched in here. Aunt Maddy kept a very tidy desk.”
“Can you tell if anything is missing?”
“Not in this state. I would have to put everything back in place first.”
“Do it,” Xavier said. “So far all we know about the object the man sought is it isn’t paper. Had it been, he would have gone to the desk first.”
“Nor is it something he expected Aunt Maddy to value greatly, or why would she leave it on the fire sill or in a table drawer?”
Xavier stared at her.
“What?”
“Nothing. Continue on with your work.”
As Vic put all the objects of the drawer back into their proper places, she discovered one thing: Xavier Thorn had absolutely no patience.
“How long could this possibly take?”
“There are hundreds of items,” Vic explained.
Xavier exhaled in frustration. “It is good I sent home my driver. He would have died from pneumonia by now. By the way, your butler has obligated you to provide me with a carriage home.”
 Vic smiled at his declaration.
“I trust your smile is one of compliance. Are you not done yet?”
“I will tell you when I’m done,” Vic snapped. “And why are you suddenly so impatient?”
“Beyond the drawer, we are done here. I wish to proceed with the investigation!”
Vic stopped. “Mr. Thorn, I do not expect you to do more than what you have so ably done today.”
“Are you firing me?” Xavier asked in outrage.
“I have not actually hired you. I only wished for your advice, but it was wrong of me to think you would do this without expecting compensation. Send me your bill and I will see it is paid.” Vic had no idea how she would do so, given she had no money.
“Bloody hell! I will not be brought in and then tossed aside at your whim. Maddy Hamilton was not just a client, but a friend, and I had every intention of finding her killer before you invited me here to use me and cast me off like a dock whore.”
Vic stopped working on the drawer. Clearly, she had insulted Mr. Thorn, but what caught her attention was a particular part of his ranting. “You knew she was killed before we even spoke?”
“Yes. It is why I wished to speak to you. If you recall, that is what I said when I introduced myself.”
“How did you know she’d been murdered?”
Xavier paused, as if debating whether to answer.
“I am sorry I insulted you,” Vic offered in hopes of soothing his temper. “It was not intentional. Please understand, I loved my aunt dearly, and I can either fall apart over her death or focus on finding her killer. I believe the latter is more productive. Moreover, I would greatly appreciate your help, but it appears Aunt Maddy had little money left when she died and, until I find a job, I cannot afford your services.”
She paused and met his unnerving glare. “I should have explained my situation from the first. But before you leave, could you please tell me how you knew she’d been murdered?”



The Troublesome Apprentice



I’m tired of telling my proper bio. So you get the improper bio.
Liza O’Connor was raised by feral cats, which explains a great deal, such as why she has no manners, is always getting in trouble, and doesn’t behave like a proper author and give you a proper bio.
She is highly unpredictable, both in real life and her stories, and presently is writing humorous romances. Please buy these books, because otherwise, she’ll become grumpy and write troubled novels instead. They will likely traumatize you.
Mostly humorous books by Liza:
Saving Casey – Old woman reincarnates into troubled teen’s body. (Half funny/half traumatizing)
Ghost LoverTwo British brothers fall in love with the same young woman. Ancestral ghost is called in to fix the situation. There’s a ghost cat too. (Humorous Contemporary Romance)
A Long Road to Love Series: (Humorous Contemporary odd Romance)
Worst Week Ever — Laugh out loud week of disasters of Epic proportions.
Oh Stupid Heart — The heart wants what it wants, even if it’s impossible.
Coming to Reason — There is a breaking point when even a saint comes to reason.
Climbing out of Hell — The reconstruction of a terrible man into a great one.
Don’t Forget to enter to win one of the two $25 Amazon Gift Cards.


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Monday, July 14, 2014

If you like Jennifer Crusie then you'll love Tempting the Ringmaster...

If you like Jennifer Crusie then you're going to love Tempting the Ringmaster. With a sexy police chief, a spunky circus ringmaster, and plenty of small town shennanigans, it's like Welcome to Temptation with elephants!
Reviewed as "Definitely THE book you want to be reading right now."
http://bit.ly/TemptingTheRingmaster


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Contest! Win a Signed Paperback of Tempting the Ringmaster!

To celebrate the launch of Tempting the Ringmaster, I am giving away one signed paperback to a lucky winner! To enter the drawing all you have to do is send me a copy of your receipt for the ebook at aleahbarley@gmail.com (or put the order number in the comments below). The paperbacks are totally sexy. I'm talking smoking hot.


Here's the link to Amazon so you can buy the ebook!

Don't forget to send me a snap of your receipt to enter! The contest drawing will be held on July 4th when a sexy Detroit Dude will pick a random name to be our lovely winner.



Book Blitz: Find Me

<a href="https://sexywaysofreading.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/coverphoto.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-5473" src="http://sexywaysofreading.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/coverphoto.jpg?w=640" alt="coverphoto" width="640" height="236" /></a>

<a href="https://sexywaysofreading.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/find-me-by-al-wood.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-5474" src="http://sexywaysofreading.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/find-me-by-al-wood.jpg" alt="Find Me by Al Wood" width="446" height="697" /></a>
<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: 'Lucida Calligraphy'; font-size: 15pt; line-height: 115%; color: #800080;"><b>Find Me (Rock Romance #3) by AL Wood  </b></span></p>
<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: 'Lucida Calligraphy'; font-size: 15pt; line-height: 115%; color: #800080;"><b>Release Day: May 30th 2014  </b></span></p>
<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: 'Lucida Calligraphy'; font-size: 15pt; line-height: 115%; color: #800080;"><b>Genre: Contemporary Romance</b></span></p>
<p style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://sexywaysofreading.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/findmesynopsis.jpg"><img class="aligncenter  wp-image-5483" src="http://sexywaysofreading.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/findmesynopsis.jpg" alt="FindMeSynopsis" width="264" height="109" /></a></p>
<span style="color: #800080;"><span style="font-family: 'Lucida Calligraphy'; font-size: 15pt; line-height: 115%;">This is the third installment of the Rock Romance Series.</span></span>

<span style="color: #800080;"><span style="font-family: 'Lucida Calligraphy'; font-size: 15pt; line-height: 115%;">Find Me is Liam's story.</span></span>

<span style="color: #800080;"><span style="font-family: 'Lucida Calligraphy'; font-size: 15pt; line-height: 115%;">Everyone's convinced that they know who Liam is, a charming, outgoing, talented musician.</span></span>

<span style="color: #800080;"><span style="font-family: 'Lucida Calligraphy'; font-size: 15pt; line-height: 115%;">What about what he's hiding in his past?</span></span>

<span style="color: #800080;"><span style="font-family: 'Lucida Calligraphy'; font-size: 15pt; line-height: 115%;">Liam share's an unrealistic connection with Natalie, how will he react to Ryan's proposal?</span></span>

<span style="color: #800080;"><span style="font-family: 'Lucida Calligraphy'; font-size: 15pt; line-height: 115%;">Layla, alone and struggling with her own secrets.</span></span>

<span style="color: #800080;"><span style="font-family: 'Lucida Calligraphy'; font-size: 15pt; line-height: 115%;">Betraying the one person who she has ever cared for.</span></span>

<span style="color: #800080;"><span style="font-family: 'Lucida Calligraphy'; font-size: 15pt; line-height: 115%;">Can Liam be saved and will Layla be forgiven?</span></span>

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<a href="https://sexywaysofreading.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/findmebuylinks.jpg"><img class="aligncenter  wp-image-5479" src="http://sexywaysofreading.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/findmebuylinks.jpg" alt="FindMeBuylinks" width="294" height="121" /></a>

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<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: 'Lucida Calligraphy'; font-size: 15pt; line-height: 115%; color: #800080;"><b><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Find-Rock-Romance-A-L-Wood-ebook/dp/B00KO6S7FA/"><span style="color: #800080;">Amazon US</span></a> ~ <a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00KO6S7FA?*Version*=1&amp;*entries*=0"><span style="color: #800080;">Amazon UK</span></a> ~ <a href="http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00KO6S7FA?*Version*=1&amp;*entries*=0"><span style="color: #800080;">Amazon CA</span></a> ~ <a href="https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00KO6S7FA"><span style="color: #800080;">Amazon AU</span></a></b></span></p>
<p style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://sexywaysofreading.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/findmefulljacketbyalwood.png"><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-5487" src="http://sexywaysofreading.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/findmefulljacketbyalwood.png?w=640" alt="FindMeFulljacketbyALWood" width="640" height="464" /></a></p>


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<p style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://sexywaysofreading.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/findmefunfacts.jpg"><img class="aligncenter  wp-image-5481" src="http://sexywaysofreading.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/findmefunfacts.jpg" alt="FindMeFunFacts" width="279" height="115" /></a></p>
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<a href="https://sexywaysofreading.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/findmeteasers.jpg"><img class="aligncenter  wp-image-5485" src="http://sexywaysofreading.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/findmeteasers.jpg" alt="FindMeTeasers" width="274" height="113" /></a>

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<a href="https://sexywaysofreading.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/findme-teaser1.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-5476" src="http://sexywaysofreading.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/findme-teaser1.jpg?w=640" alt="FindMe Teaser1" width="640" height="468" /></a>

<a href="https://sexywaysofreading.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/find-me-teaser-3.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-5475" src="http://sexywaysofreading.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/find-me-teaser-3.jpg?w=640" alt="Find me Teaser 3" width="640" height="479" /></a>

<a href="https://sexywaysofreading.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/findmeteaser2.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-5484" src="http://sexywaysofreading.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/findmeteaser2.jpg" alt="FindMeteaser2" width="599" height="599" /></a>

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<a href="https://sexywaysofreading.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/findmeaboutauthor.jpg"><img class="aligncenter  wp-image-5477" src="http://sexywaysofreading.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/findmeaboutauthor.jpg" alt="FindMeAboutAuthor" width="321" height="132" /></a>

<strong> </strong>

<img class="alignleft" src="http://sexywaysofreading.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/a-l-wood.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="200" />
<blockquote><span style="font-family: 'Lucida Calligraphy'; font-size: 15pt; line-height: 115%;">I have always been an avid speed reader, with far away dreams of authoring my own story. It was of frivolous talk throughout the years and one day I read a blog post written by one of my most favorite authors. Reading of her story inspired me to finally sit down and write my own.</span>

<span style="font-family: 'Lucida Calligraphy'; font-size: 15pt; line-height: 115%;">When I’m not caught up in my fictional stories, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.When I’m not caught up in my fictional stories, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.</span>

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<a href="https://sexywaysofreading.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/findmeauthorlinks.jpg"><img class="aligncenter  wp-image-5478" src="http://sexywaysofreading.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/findmeauthorlinks.jpg" alt="FindMeAuthorLinks" width="296" height="122" /></a>
<span style="font-family: 'Lucida Calligraphy'; font-size: 15pt; line-height: 115%;">
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<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: 'Lucida Calligraphy'; font-size: 15pt; line-height: 115%;"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/First-Chance-Rock-Romance-A-L-ebook/dp/B00HW1LZUE/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top">FIRST CHANCE (Rock Romance  1) by A.L. Wood</a></span></p>
<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: 'Lucida Calligraphy'; font-size: 15pt; line-height: 115%;"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Last-Chance-Rock-Romance-A-L-ebook/dp/B00IVONRYI">LAST CHANCE (Rock Romance #2) by A.L. Wood</a></span></p>
<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: 'Lucida Calligraphy'; font-size: 15pt; line-height: 115%;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/andrea.wood.10297">FACEBOOK</a></span></p>
<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: 'Lucida Calligraphy'; font-size: 15pt; line-height: 115%;"><a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20922427-last-chance">GOODREADS</a></span></p>
<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: 'Lucida Calligraphy'; font-size: 15pt; line-height: 115%;"><a href="https://twitter.com/ALWoodAuthor">TWITTER</a></span></p>
<p style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://sexywaysofreading.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/findmetourhost.jpg"><img class="aligncenter  wp-image-5486" src="http://sexywaysofreading.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/findmetourhost.jpg" alt="FindMeTourHost" width="320" height="132" /></a></p>
<p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://sexywaysofreading.com/sexways-author-promotions/" target="_blank"><img class="alignnone" src="https://fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihd.net/hprofile-ak-xpf1/t1.0-1/p160x160/10420233_665789826828971_8395608346179748804_n.png" alt="" width="160" height="160" /></a></p>
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Friday, June 27, 2014

Tempting the Ringmaster Teaser

A little something to get you excited about Tempting the Ringmaster available now at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
His lips were rough against her mouth, and she didn’t care. All night long he’d been a perfect gentleman, but the truth was she’d been dreaming about this moment ever since he’d asked her out. She’d been fantasizing about his mouth on hers, his hands grasping at her breasts, and his erection hard against her thigh through so many layers of fabric.
He was a cop, she tried to remind herself, a hometown hero with a badge and an attitude.
Only, he didn’t look like a policeman with the dark bruise under his eye.
He looked like a highwayman, ready to pillage, plunder, and take whatever he wanted.
Even her.



Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Liza O'Connor's Worst Week Ever ~ SALE!


BEST WEEK EVER
For

Worst Week Ever
by
Liza O'Connor

Humorous, Contemporary, Disaster Romance

Fabulous News!
 Worst Week Ever has been nominated by the IRC as
The Best Contemporary Romance of 2014



So to celebrate its grand achievement,
I’m offering it to the world for 99 cents
From June 23 –June 29th



What do reviewers say?

By the time I got to the chocolate turtles I was laughing so hard I was literally crying” 5*


“Funniest book I have ever read”


Don’t wait! Grab your copy now!

Blurb

What do you get when you put a hardworking, can-do middle-class young woman together with an egoistical, outrageous, billionaire boss, then throw in the worst week of disasters imaginable?

Book 1 of the 4 book series A Long Road to Love, named Worst Week Ever.

Trent Lancaster spends one month without his Executive Assistant (or as his driver refers to Carrie: 'Trent's brain, left hand, and right hand'). He's had a miserable month without her at his side and to ensure it never happens again, he intends to marry this brilliant beauty. Only given all the times he's threatened to fire her, he's not sure she even likes him. However, the future of his company and his happiness depend upon him succeeding, so Trent begins a slow one week seduction that happens to coincide with Carrie Hanson's Worst Week Ever when everything that can go wrong does so in hilarious form.

(Hilarious to the reader, Carrie is not having much fun this week.)



Excerpt
Carrie squeezed her eyes shut, waiting for the thump of a body against the limo’s hood.

“Maybe I shouldn’t have insisted Sam take a shortcut,” Trent muttered beneath his breath.

She groaned softly. If her boss questioned his actions, then matters must look grim outside. She tensed even further, expecting to hear multiple bodies slam into the car.

Sam braked hard, turned right, and resumed driving a billion miles an hour. If not for the seat belts, she and Trent would’ve sailed into the front seat, and then plastered against the door. To secure her further, Trent protectively placed an arm around her shoulder and pulled her against his warm chest.

She focused on the thumping of his heart. It beat once to three of hers. God, how can he be so calm?

Determined to match his bravery, she tried to raise her head, but he wouldn’t let her.

“Just a little longer, I hope. Sam, when do we depart this third world country?”

“Two more blocks, sir.”

“Thank God. You’ve terrified poor Carrie to death.”

Instantly, the limo’s speed dropped.

She turned her head sideways so Sam might be able to hear her words. “Your driving doesn’t frighten me, Sam, the neighborhood does.”

As if on cue, a round of three loud pops sounded, followed by three thunks into her side door. She squeaked like a mouse at the first thunk. By the third, her body shivered in fear.

Trent’s arms tightened around her as the limo picked up speed again. “We’re okay,” he assured her, then his lips pressed against her temple. His calm certainty silenced her tremors.

Having successfully soothed her, he released his outrage upon Sam. “Why the hell did you drive us through here?”
Sam calmly replied as he drove the car at a billion miles an hour, taking corners at deadly speeds. “I warned you the locals might not welcome us.”

“Someone just shot at us?” Trent yelled.

Sam’s nonchalant reply sounded almost surreal. “I’m sure they didn’t mean for you to take it personally, sir.”

Maybe none of this is happening. Maybe I fell asleep in the traffic and my dream has gone rogue.
Her heart calmed and she nuzzled closer to Trent, breathing in his masculine scent. Secure in her dream, she confessed something she never would in real life. “You smell good.”

Trent’s arms relaxed a bit and he chuckled. “It’s called Trent. I had the cologne custom developed. They assessed my natural odors and then determined the optimal combination of scents to create my unique smell.”

She snorted. Even in her dreams, he remained the strangest man she’d ever met. If she had all the money in the world, she’d try to end poverty and violence in…whatever hell they’d just driven through, not have some custom designed perfume created so she’d smell really, really good.


FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT 
LIZA O'CONNOR


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