I’m a Human, Not an Octopus

What does “Back-to-School Time” mean to you?

Apparently to me, it’s the time of year where I begin feeling overwhelmed and ineffective in almost all aspects of my life.

You see, I’m one of “those” people. What kind of people, you may ask? Well, I’m one of those moms who is involved in her kids’ lives and activities. I hope I’m not a helicopter parent, because it seems everyone looks askance at them. But I am involved.

I’m a Den Leader. I help out in several capacities in the children’s ministries at church. I shuttle my son to violin lessons and cross country practices. I help out at school for parties and field trips when I can.

And I volunteer for Bible Released Time. I actually wear a number of hats in that ministry. School Coordinator. Song Leader. Van Driver.

And these are just the things I do involving my kids. I’m a homemaker, a wife, a mom (yes, there is a difference between being “Mom” and being a ringleader for my kids’ activities, lol), and a recently-published author.

So, needless to say, I’m tired. I have so much on my plate that some days I don’t know which thing to stick my fork in first. It’s kind of like Thanksgiving dinner at Grandma’s when I was a kid–someone would hand me a big plate of delicious food, and it all looked so good, but I sat staring for a long time because I didn’t know what to eat first.

Okay, sorry. I obviously should have eaten breakfast before starting this post.

But therein is another problem–my lack of focus. I could be the poster child for Adult ADD. I am not focused. I am not organized. And when you’re in charge of or helping out with as many things as I am, you’ve got to be focused and organized, or else you throw yourself and everyone around you into chaos.

And that’s what is happening now. I’m beginning to see cracks in some of the things I’m involved with. I’m sure it’s not all me and my lack of leadership skills, but I can’t deny that I’m part of the problem. I feel like the little boy with his finger in the hole in the dyke, trying to stop the flood and the destruction. (For Pete’s sake, I’m just all over the place with illustrations).

To get back to the title of this post, it all comes down to realizing that I am one person. I only have so many hours in the day, and I only have two hands, not eight like an octopus. I have limitations that I need to acknowledge, and I need to seriously take stock of where I am and what’s important. I hate saying that, because I think all the things I’m involved with are important, obviously, or else I wouldn’t be involved with them.

But I also realize that there are other things that I’d like to do–things that may lead to employment in the near future when both kids are in middle and high school, things involving ministries that I’d like to start or move into–that I really have no room for right now. I need to decide what activities to keep my hands in and what activities to pull back from.

And that’s not easy.


Dragon Master Release

Dragon Master HeadTalker 2

For Dr. Jamie Torrent life was about empirical proof. What you could see and touch. But when she wakes to a surreal reality where dragons fly free and magic rules the land, the proof is too real to ignore. As real as the dangerous passions set to blaze by the man who summoned her.

Tryst, Dragon Master, has to marry or fear losing the kingdom he loves. When he meets Jamie, worlds collide in a fierce battle for domination. Will Tryst win and keep his kingdom or will Jamie set aside what she knows as truth?



About the Book

Dragon Master

by Julie Morgan & Marianne Morea


n/a; standalone



SciFi & Fantasy

Romatic Fantasy



Publication Date

July 10, 2016

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What the Readers Are Saying About Dragon Master

"There is action, mystery, steamy hot sex, brutal scenes, and unexpected events (like holy cow moments)."

– Amazon Customer, Verified Purchase

"The story is full of suspense, drama, action, adventure, mystery, secrets, brutality, danger, humor, magic, villains, romance, and love with plenty of passion"

– Amazon Customer, Verified Purchase

"What a great world! I can't wait to see the rest of the series!"

– Amazon Customer, Verified Purchase

"This is not your mama's old bodice ripper. A new world with dragons and magic and shapshifters. Add in a couple modern day scientists who are independent and geeky and mix. What happens next is a fun story with some laughs, some adventure, and some steamy hot sex."

– Amazon Customer, Verified Purchase

"Dragon Master is an excellent collaboration between two amazing authors, and this story proves how amazing they both are. Perfect world building and character development, as well as a unique, fun, and steamy story line work together to draw you in and take you for a ride. I can’t wait to get my hands on more from this world!"

– Amazon Customer, Verified Purchase

About Julie Morgan

514-0kgzazl-_ux250_Originally from Burleson, Texas Julie always had a love of books, especially paranormal stories. Julie finally took the leap and began writing with encouragement from her family.

Having worked in IT her entire career, Julie now spends her free time writing. Living in Central Florida with her husband and daughter, her favorite pastime is reading children’s stories to her daughter, especially those around animals.

Julie's Links

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About Marianne Morea

Marianne MoreaI'm a New Yorker, born and bred, and my stories embody the grit and complexity of the city. An avid traveler, I use my experiences from around the world in all my books. There isn't a place my characters live or travel to that I haven't been myself.

Like most authors, my love affair with the written word started as a child with the books I read. Even today, I love to read almost as much as I love to write. My favorite stories are the ones that bring me to places and introduce me to characters that leave me breathless, allowing me to dream in the world of 'what if?'

From the time I could write my name I've been scribbling stories. So it was no surprise when I earned degrees in both Journalism and Fine Art, but after working in the trenches of Madison Avenue as a Graphic Artist, I decided to do what I love most full time. Write.

In the meantime I am also a founding member and former President of The Paranormal Romance Guild, a not-for-profit organization for readers and authors of the genre, and when I'm not 'bichok' (but in a chair hands on keyboard), I'm spending time with my husband and our three kids, traveling to exciting, romantic places…for inspiration, of course!

Marianne's Links

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The (Brown) Eyes Have It

via Daily Prompt: Eyes


“Beautiful beautiful brown eyes,
Beautiful beautiful brown eyes,
Beautiful beautiful brown eyes,
I’ll never love blue eyes again.”

And so goes an old song I found in one of my piano music books.

I don’t know when I began to prefer brown eyes over blue, but it had to have been some point during my college days. Somewhere along the line, I decided that brown eyes were beautiful, mysterious, and adventurous. I suspect that may be because I have blue eyes, my parents have blue eyes, my brothers have blue eyes, and seemingly 90% of my extended family have blue eyes. Blue eyes, to me, are just commonplace and boring.

But brown eyes, to me, are exotic. A man with brown eyes and dark brown or black hair immediately captures my attention, and I want to get to know him, to see what is hidden in the depths of his dark eyes.

I’ve noticed that many of the male characters in my stories ultimately have brown eyes and brown or black hair. However, I have widened my scope a bit when it comes to describing those eyes.

In The Newbie and School Spirits, two of my male characters–both of whom hold a certain attraction for Kyrie Carter–have brown eyes. Gabe Petery and Spook Steele are both brown-eyed, brown-haired, handsome men, but their personalities are very different, and I wanted to convey that somehow by their physical descriptions.

Gabe is an easygoing, sensitive, open individual who often seems to not have a care in the world. He is easy to get to know, and his kindness extends to everyone he meets.

Spook, on the other hand, is standoffish, abrasive, and somewhat secretive. At times, he carries the weight of the world on his shoulders, and it’s obvious to Kyr that he either harbors some deep hurt, or he’s just a jerk.

So how do their eyes portray this? One of my favorite descriptions of Gabe’s eyes comes at the beginning of The Newbie, shortly after Kyr meets him for the first time. She had thought he simply had dark brown eyes, but up close, there’s much more to them than she saw on TV:

He laughed at his own joke, and I looked up and found myself staring into his eyes. On TV, his brown eyes looked almost black, but in person and up close, they were the deep golden brown of a strong cup of tea. I was a coffee drinker, but I couldn’t help thinking that I’d gladly trade my cup of Joe for a cup of Lipton if it reminded me of Gabe’s eyes.

Spook’s eyes don’t get as much descriptive treatment, at least not with their color. There are several times, however, where Kyr notices the hurt in his eyes when she tosses a barb at him, and there are times when he seems to be opening up or  looking at her with interest or even affection, and suddenly his expression shifts to indifference. Kyr is one who wears her heart on her sleeve, and she’s an easy read, even when she tries to hide her feelings, so Spook’s ability to turn his emotions on and off baffles her. One of my favorite scenes in School Spirits is the one where JoEllyn get Kyr all gussied up for dinner with the team. Spook comes in and sees Kyr looking uncharacteristically feminine. He’s about to comment when he realizes they aren’t alone:

The door opened, and Spook’s voice joked, “Why, Kyr, you dared to leave the door unlocked? Aren’t you afraid…?” His words trailed off as he caught sight of me and froze, mouth agape. His eyes swept over me appreciatively. He smiled softly and was about to say something when JoEllyn giggled, drawing attention to herself. Seeing that we weren’t alone, his expression immediately became unreadable. Then noticing that JoEllyn was dressed up too, he smiled and teased, “Oh, I get it. You girls are playing dress up.”

There will be other instances of characters’ eyes revealing insights about their personalities in later books. In Book 3, Witch of Willow Lake, readers will be introduced to some very evil characters with very unique eyes.



Magic & Mayhem Release

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The ULTIMATE Fantasy Boxed Set! 

22 NY Times, USA Today and International Bestselling Authors 

21 full-length novels of magic, mayhem, mystery, adventure and romance. 
Yours for an insanely low price.
Get ready to be swept off into lands filled with magic, mystery, action, adventure and even romance with these 21 full-length fantasy novels! With over one-million words packed with witches, dragons, pirates, shape shifters, mercenaries, gods and more, these stories will introduce you to some of the most memorable characters and exotic worlds that exist in fantasy today. No cliffhangers here — each book is either a standalone or first in series and all have satisfying endings.

22 of the hottest fantasy authors have banded together to bring you this incredible boxed set, but it's only available for a limited time! At this incredibly low price, you're paying a penny per sixty minutes of spellbinding fiction — a bargain that can't be beat. Grab this collection today before it's gone for good!

About the Book

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Magic And Mayhem Boxed Set

by Jasmine Walt


Jasmine Walt 

Internationally Bestselling Author of The Baine Chronicles Series 

Dima Zales & Anna Zaires

New York Times Bestselling Authors of The Mind Dimensions Series 

Rebecca Hamilton

USA Today Bestselling Author of The Forever Girl Series 

Emily Goodwin

Internationally Bestselling Author of the Contagium Series

Margo Bond Collins

Internationally Bestselling Author of the Legally Undead Series

J.A. Cipriano

Internationally Bestselling Author of the Lillim Callina Chronicles

Rabia Gale

Internationally Bestselling Author of the Broken Fairy Tales Series

D.K. Holmberg

Internationally Bestselling Author of The Cloud Warrior Saga

Thea Atkinson

Internationally Bestselling Author of the Witches of Elantium Series

Emma L. Adams

Internationally Bestselling Author of The Alliance Series

S.C. Green

Internationally Bestselling Author of The Engine Ward Series

A.W. Exley

Internationally Bestselling Author of The Artifact Hunters Series

Jack Conner

Internationally Bestselling Author of The Atomic Sea Series

Gwynn White

Internationally Bestselling Author of The Crown of Blood Series

Lindsey Fairleigh

Internationally Bestselling Author of the Echo Trilogy

Susan Stec

USA Today Bestselling Author of the Grateful Undead Series

K. De Long

USA Today Bestselling Author of the Inkubus Series

Tom Shutt

Internationally Bestselling Author of the Brooding City Series

Erin Hayes

Internationally Bestselling Author of The Harker Trilogy

Calinda B

Internationally Bestselling Author of the Blurred Lines Series

Natasha Larry

Internationally Bestselling Author of the Darwin's Children Series



Paranormal Fantasy

Urban Fantasy


Blue Bolt Publishing

Publication Date

August 2, 2016

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Splinter Release Blitz

SplinterMattie Carver has relinquished the world of magic, with all its dark temptations. In six weeks, she’ll marry Ben Ward and claim the safe, small-town life she craves. But Mattie’s talents as a reliquary—someone able to smuggle magic within her body—make her a valuable commodity, even to those she trusts the most. Forced out of retirement by a painful betrayal, she must seek the help of the man she’s tried desperately to stay away from: Ben’s estranged brother, Asa.

Asa, a sensor and magic dealer, may have saved Ben months ago, but he’s complicated Mattie’s life beyond imagining. Trailed by lethal mobsters through Chicago’s seamy magical underbelly and an eerie traveling carnival, Mattie struggles to endure the priceless magic she’s holding and her feelings for Asa. Once, she thought she’d chosen her path. Now the only option may be to succumb to the destiny that’s choosing her, and hope she’s strong enough to survive.

About the Book


by Sarah Fine


Reliquary #2



Urban Fantasy

Paranormal Romance



Publication Date

August 2nd, 2016

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Splinter Excerpt

By the time I reached the front door of the cottage, I could already smell dinner. Onions, garlic, bacon. “Ben?” “Kitchen,” he called. “My afternoon splenectomy got canceled.” I frowned. The patient, a nine-year-old schnauzer mix named Gordon Lightfoot, had been diagnosed with cancer of the spleen just a few days before. “Why?” “They decided they wanted to put him down instead,” Ben said as I joined him in our kitchen. He handed me a glass of merlot. “They took him home and are spending the weekend with him. He’ll come back on Monday.” My throat got tight at the news, but Ben looked unruffled. He’d had longer to process the decision. “You could have saved him.” He nodded. “But it would have been expensive. They said they couldn’t afford it.” “Couldn’t you have . . .” I took a quick sip of my wine. I’d been about to suggest he offer to do it for free, or for a much lower fee, something he used to do all the time. But we were still repaying the debt he’d racked up with his addiction to Ekstazo pleasure magic . . . and to other types of magic as well. He used Knedas juice on you, didn’t he? Asa whispered in my memories. I squeezed my eyes shut. “That’s too bad. Are you okay?” “Just part of the job.” His fingers caressed my cheek. “You look tired, babe.” I let out a weary chuckle and set my wine glass on the counter. “Isn’t that a socially acceptable way of telling someone she looks terrible?” He took my face in his large, warm hands. “You look as beautiful to me as you ever have, Mattie.” Liar, I thought. But I stayed quiet. He kissed my forehead. “I came home early to cook dinner for you. Bucatini with bacon, tomato, and onions. Something hearty to put some meat back on your bones.” I pulled away from him. “My mom called you, didn’t she?” “Am I not allowed to talk to my future mother-in-law? She wanted to make sure you had a nice, relaxing evening. Said you’d had a busy day filled with hair and dresses and tricky flower arrangements.” That would be what my mom told him. No matter how bad things were, she’d embroider the edges of the truth with a pretty silver lining. It was like she believed that naming a bad thing gave it power, but if we just talked around it, maybe it would simply go away. “Yeah. Who knew wedding planning was so exhausting?” Hey, I’d learned from the best. Ben ushered me onto the screened porch, where we could see the emerald buds dotting the branches of the trees that lined our yard, the daffodils poking their little green heads through the soil in the flower beds. We ate our dinner in near silence, him gobbling down pasta while I picked at my food. It smelled good, but I already felt full, like my stomach had been stuffed with something huge and brittle and too much weight would cause it to splinter. After we were finished, we did the dishes together. Ben’s hands snaked around my waist as I dried my hands with a towel. He bowed his face into my hair. “You didn’t believe me when I told you that you were beautiful to me.” I folded the towel over the edge of the dish rack. “I never said that.” “You don’t think I know you well enough to tell? Come on, Mattie.” His fingers spread, stroking across my ribs. I fought the urge to pull away, knowing he could probably feel each one. “I never said that, either.” A breath of laughter warmed the top of my head. “Because you don’t say much of anything these days.” “I’m stressed out. It’s no big deal, just a lot of details to manage.” “Then let me help. I’ll take time off—” “You can’t, and you know that.” He sighed. “I know.” He was determined to pay off the debt to the contractor who’d renovated the vet clinic, and he wanted to get it done before the wedding. “But I want to do something for you.” He tilted his head and kissed the side of my neck. “I love you so much, and I just want to make you happy.” His hand slid around to my stomach and began to dip into my pants. I grabbed his wrist. “Not tonight, okay? I’ve had a really long day.” His hand stilled, but he continued to nuzzle the side of my throat. “I’d be happy to relax you.” I closed my eyes and tried to summon my desire, but all I could find was a wary exhaustion. “You’re so sweet, Ben, but I’m just not up to it.” “I’ll do all the work—I promise.” While I lay like a rag doll beneath him? The idea—just another reminder of how much I’d changed—made my stomach turn. “No.” His tongue slipped along my skin. “Come on. It’s been months . . .” I leaned away from him. “It hasn’t been that long.” He pulled me against him, letting me feel his arousal. “It’s been twelve weeks and three days.” “You’ve been counting?” I ducked under his arm and took a few steps back, crossing my arms over my chest. He ran his hands through his light-brown hair, shot through with golden strands. “Can you blame me? I’m dying here, Mattie.” “You’re dying? Way to make me feel guilty.” He let out a long breath. “I only meant that I want you. I miss you. I love you, and I want to be close to you. Can you blame me for that?” “No,” I said quietly. “I love you, too. But I haven’t felt like myself lately, okay? Just give me a little time to pull myself together. I’m getting there. And you deserve the best of me.” “I deserve all of you!” He moved toward me, his arms out as if to enfold me, but I put my hands up to keep him back. He stopped and his expression hardened. “Goddammit, Mattie, what the hell is wrong with you? It’s like you want to be sick. Like you’re using it to keep me at a distance. Why don’t you just admit it?” “Because it’s not true! I’m trying to get better.” “Oh, really?” His honey-brown eyes flared, and he walked over and opened the cabinet above the coffeemaker. He reached in and took out a pill bottle. “I counted these. You haven’t taken a single one in the last two weeks.” “Because they don’t help. The attacks still come. And they make my thoughts all fuzzy.” He slammed the bottle onto the counter. “Don’t tell me you’re trying to get better if you’re not even willing to follow your doctor’s advice.” He grimaced. “Especially after what we’ve spent on copays and prescriptions over the last nine months.” When he saw my stunned look, his shoulders slumped. “I’m sorry. That came out all wrong.” “Or maybe you said exactly what you meant.” “I’m just tired. Maybe we can talk about this tomorrow when my head’s on straight.” He turned and trudged toward our room, but paused and looked back before he entered. “I’m going to get make it an early night. Join me?” “I’ll be there soon.” His jaw clenched, but he nodded and disappeared into the room, leaving me standing in the kitchen. I carried the pills into the living room and sank into the couch, cradling the gently rattling bottle to my chest. The eerily familiar noise was like a fuse sparking to life, burning down until it triggered the explosion of memories. Pockets full of magic disguised as the most mundane things—floss, baby oil, Pez. They rattled when he walked, when he ran, when his legs flopped to the bed the one time he was too sick to take care of himself and let me do it for him. Come with me, Mattie. We’re a good team. We can figure this out. Together. I hadn’t asked him just what he wanted to figure out. How to get away from Frank Brindle, the boss of the West Coast? How to get Ben free without giving up our freedom in return? Or how to figure out the tangled, messed-up, inevitably doomed thing the two of us were together? “You know very well what I meant, Mattie,” Asa whispered. My eyes flew open, and there he was, sitting on the rug, a lean arm slung around his bent knee, looking relaxed even though he’d apparently just broken into my house. “I don’t have any idea,” I replied. “And how did you get in here?” “You let me in.” He rolled his eyes. “How is it that you can deal with a shitload of ancient Strikon pain magic inside your chest but not be able to deal with your own heart?” “You helped me with the magic. This is different.” He crawled toward me, predatory and smooth in the darkened room. My heart lurched as he came closer, but I was like prey, paralyzed by the look in his eyes. He stopped only when his face was an inch from mine. “No, Mattie. It’s exactly the same.” His mouth descended on mine, and a flash of relief lit me up. But the moment our lips touched, the pain stabbed straight through my chest, from my breastbone to my spine and everywhere in between. I gasped, jerking up, my eyes flying open, air squeaking from my throat in hitching breaths. I was alone in the room, alone with myself, alone with so much hurtful truth that I couldn’t contain it all. I doubled over, desperate to stay quiet so Ben wouldn’t hear. But it was all I could do not to scream as the agony radiated down my spine and up my neck, threading searing pain across my breasts. I clamped my hand over my mouth and drew my knees to my chest as a dark knowledge shifted and turned inside me, cutting my insides with its jagged edges, forcing me to look, as much as I wanted to go on pretending it didn’t exist. I hadn’t let go of Asa. Somehow, he’d stayed with me, haunting me. Because I’d let him. Because a part of me missed him, wondered where he was and what he was doing, wondered if he ever thought of me, wondered if the life he’d offered was something I should have explored. And it was ruining me, body and soul. I managed to sit up. Fumbling, I unscrewed the cap of the pill bottle and let two pale blue ovals fall onto my palm. I tossed them into my mouth and swallowed, then winced as they slowly slid down my dry throat. “I made my choice,” I whispered. Yes, it had been tempting. And yes, so was Asa himself. Painfully so. But I was never meant for a life like that or for a man like him, both endlessly complicated in ways I’d only just begun to understand. And if I didn’t move on, I was going to lose the life I had. “I’m not going to let that happen.” I pushed myself off of the couch and headed for the bedroom.

The Reliquary Series 

Reliquary (1)  Splinter  Fine-Mosaic-Cover 


About Sarah Fine

Sarah Fine

Sarah Fine was born on the West Coast, raised in the Midwest, and is now firmly entrenched on the East Coast. 

When she's not writing, she's working as a child psychologist. No, she is not psychoanalyzing you right now.

Author Links

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Torn Ends Release Blitz

Torn Ends by Taylor Dawn

Magnolia Series Volume 3

Now Available

#99cents #KindleUnlimited #Romance

Torn Ends eBook

Damon ‘Dash’ Hunter had one thing on his mind…freedom. After being incarcerated for a crime he never meant to commit, Dash vows to lead his life under the radar. The one thing he needed was family and the only family he had left was his sister, Gracie. Upon deciding to relocate from Chicago to Biloxi Mississippi to be with his sister, Dash jumps on his Harley and makes the long journey south. His travels are soon interrupted by the likes of a sassy brunette on the side of the road with a flat tire. Offering to help her, Dash finds more than just a spare in the trunk of her car. He can’t help but offering his assistance to show her how to properly use those naughty toys stowed away in her car.
Brandi Fairfield had a habit of dating guys who were bad for her even though sometimes bad could be so good. Just as she decides she’s ready to find a respectable man, a bad boy she can’t seem to resist rolls up and helps her change a flat tire. Everything about him has warning signs but she once again throws caution to the wind. But soon she learns the truth about the new guy in town. Can she push aside her disbelief and help him clear up his wrongs. Or will the threat of his past tear a hole in the very fabric they’ve woven together.
Follow Dash and Brandi as they continue the Magnolia Series by International Best-Selling Author, Taylor Dawn.

Where to Purchase

TornEnds Teaser 1


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Available on Kindle Unlimited for #FREE


About Taylor Dawn


International Bestselling Author Taylor Dawn (formerly writing as C.D. Taylor) began writing as an item to check off her bucket list. She resides in the southernmost part of Illinois, right on the mighty Mississippi river. She enjoys the quiet country life with her husband, son and the many farm animals that make up the rest of the family. Deciding that farm life was just a little too mundane, Taylor began writing romance and fantasy to liven things up, so far so good. Before starting her writing career, Taylor entered the field of cosmetology. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found sitting around a table making people laugh. She has always wanted to be a standup comic. She loves pulling practical jokes, dresses up in a costume every Halloween and believes that dancing is the key to a happy life (even if you aren’t a good dancer). She believes that life shouldn’t be taken too seriously, we will never get out alive anyway. More than anything, she is a kid at heart, she doesn’t believe in bedtimes, eating everything on her plate, or having ice cream only for dessert. Her favorite quote is by Dr. Seuss…”Why fit in, when you were born to stand out.” You can find Taylor at taylordawn-author.com

Other Titles in the Magnolia Series

Loose Ends


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Split Ends


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Where to find Taylor Dawn





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