Upcoming book signings! Come visit and get a book signed!

IMG_20130511_194636It’ll be a busy summer! Here are the dates and locations of upcoming signings:

  • June 24 – Eau Claire Market Calgary – Sultry Summer Romance Festival 12-4pm
  • July 3 – Owl’s Nest Bookstore – Women of Stampede book launch 7-8:30pm
  • July 5-6 – TBA
  • July 7 – Chapters/Indigo Shawnessy (Calgary) 12-3pm
  • July 14 – Chapters/Indigo Signal Hill (Calgary) 11am-2pm
  • August 10-12 – When Words Collide 2018 conference – time TBA

On June 24th, I will be offering all my paperbacks for a discount! Come by for a visit, and get a chance to win some swag, too!

Book review & giveaway: Paris Ever After, by K.S.R. Burns

Paris Ever AfterK.S.R. Burns

on Tour May 1-14 with

Paris Ever After

(women’s fiction)
Release date: May 1st, 2018
at Velvet Morning Press
ASIN: B079H32ND3
260 pages
Author’s website
Goodreads

 

SYNOPSIS

Can Amy’s rocky start in Paris turn into a happy ever after?

Amy didn’t realize how stale her life was until she jetted off to Paris without telling a soul—not even her husband—and had the adventure of a lifetime. Now as she tries to establish herself in the City of Light, she finds that despite a fun (and quirky) group of friends and the ability to indulge in French pastries whenever she wants, reinventing her life is much harder than she imagined.

Then on Amy’s thirtieth birthday, two unexpected visitors leave her wondering if she will soon be saying au revoir to Paris and the new life she’s struggled to build. Her estranged husband, Will, shows up—but is he interested in reconciliation or separation? And a young woman who arrives on Amy’s doorstep unleashes chaos that could push Amy out into the street.

As Amy’s Parisian dream starts to fall apart, she must decide: return to the stability of Will and Phoenix (if that’s even still an option) or forge her way forward in Paris? Amid secrets and surprises, set in enchanting gardens, cozy cafés, and glittering Parisian streets, Amy must choose between two very different worlds. And each has a claim on her heart.

***

MY REVIEW

I’ve read The Paris Effect (and reviewed it) and it didn’t take me long to dive right back in for its sequel (which I’d wished for, and so glad the author delivered!). Amy has established a life in Paris, though one that still seems a bit tenuous, as she is relying upon the goodwill of her friend Margaret for a place to live. She finds this to indeed be tenuous when Margaret has an unexpected guest, and that change leaves her more vulnerable than she expected.

It’s a struggle to write this review without giving away spoilers, so it’s going to be a bit short. Amy’s complications mount, and I couldn’t put this book down, wondering what would happen next, and how she’d get herself out of all the difficulties. I also was reading this on the plane on my way home from a trip to Paris, and I loved being able to relive some spots I’d visited. I may even have to re-read The Paris Effect, and then read this one again, just to have that fun once more.

I’m delighted to hear that The Paris Effect has been optioned for film rights. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll be able to see the film/tv program soon!

NB: The author’s previous book, The Paris Effect, featured here on France Book Tours, was just optioned for Film & TV!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

k-s-r-burns

K. S. R. Burns
is the author of the Amazon bestseller, THE PARIS EFFECT, its upcoming standalone sequel PARIS EVER AFTER, and THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF WORKING GIRL: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use. She has lived and worked in four countries and 22 cities, including Paris. No longer a wanderer, Burns now resides in the Pacific Northwest, where in addition to novels she writes a weekly career advice column for The Seattle Times.

Visit her website.
Follow her on Facebook, Twitter

Subscribe to her newsletter

Buy the book: Amazon | Kobo | iTunes | Nook

***

GIVEAWAY

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Visit each blogger on the tour:
tweeting about the giveaway everyday
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5 winners

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Betting on Second Chances is available for pre-order! Get yourself some second-chance romance!

CoverFinalLG-BettingOnSecondChancesHi everyone,

I’m proud to announce that my latest book, Betting on Second Chances, is available for pre-order on Amazon!

>>Pre-order here<<

Olivia Tate doesn’t want anyone knowing about her secret passion, especially her parents, who have always had their own strict ideas about her future and career. Not even her best friend knows how much she wants to chuck it all in and become a touring musician. She’s never played guitar for an audience, but it’s not entirely stage fright holding her back. Her parents have done everything for her, and she doesn’t want to disappoint them. But the need can’t be denied, and when she meets a familiar biker guy during the rush of Stampede, a guy with similar passions to her own, she knows it’s only a matter of time.

Will Fraser has never expected happily ever after. Being in foster care had taken that out of him right quick, and his few attempts at relationships…the less said the better. But when he sees his old high school crush at a Stampede pancake breakfast, all those feelings flood back and he realizes how much he wants that chance.

Have Betting on Second Chances on your Kindle on May 15th, and check out the rest of the Women of Stampede series!

Check out the Women of Stampede website and saddle up for the ride! The Women of Stampede will lasso your hearts!

If you love romance novels with a western flair, look no further than the Women of Stampede Series. Calgary, Red Deer, and Edmonton authors have teamed up to create seven contemporary romance novels loosely themed around The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth… the Calgary Stampede.

Among our heroes and heroines, you’ll fall in love with innkeepers, country singers, rodeo stars, barrel racers, chuckwagon drivers, trick riders, Russian Cossack riders, western-wear designers and bareback riders. And we can’t forget our oil executives, corporate planners, mechanics, nursing students and executive chefs.

We have broken hearts, broken bodies, and broken spirits to mend, along with downed fences and shattered relationships. Big city lights. Small town nights. And a fabulous blend of city dwellers and country folk for your reading pleasure.

Best of all, hearts are swelling with love, looking for Mr. or Miss Right and a happily ever after ending.

Seven fabulous books from seven fabulous authors featuring a loosely connected theme – The Calgary Stampede.

>>Pre-order here<<

Book review: The Last Days of Oscar Wilde, by John Vanderslice

About The Last Days of Oscar Wilde

• Paperback: 350 pages
• Publisher: Burlesque Press, LLC (January 15, 2018)

How is it possible that the genius author of such 19th century classics as The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest died destitute in Paris at the age of 46? In John Vanderslice’s vivid and heartbreaking novel, we meet Oscar Wilde after a two year incarceration in an English prison for gross indecency. Once free, his reputation and finances in ruins, he leaves England for Paris where, frequently inebriated, he stays in shabby hotel rooms paid for by his few, remaining friends.

In Vanderslice’s deftly-imagined portrayal, Wilde’s idiosyncratic and affecting greatness is revealed. Through his thoughts and interactions, we experience the heart and mind of a literary giant brought down by the “morals” of his time. For a while, Wilde manages to maintain his legendary sense of humor and joie de vivre, a superstitious religiosity, and the dogged pursuit of beautiful young men. Sadly, the formerly prolific author and raconteur no longer has the desire to write. Instead, he distantly observes the world and is ultimately felled by serious illness. It is at his funeral that his artistic reputation begins its slow rehabilitation as friends and a small devoted public flock to the church to honor the artist, who spoke openly about homosexuality, the hypocrisy of Victorian values, and the importance of art for art’s sake.

My Review

Almost immediately, you’re drawn into Oscar Wilde’s life. It only takes a page or two, and his personality is so vivid that I began to feel as if I might know him. I don’t know much about Wilde historically, so I can’t speak as to the accuracy (or not) of this fictional story to the real history, but to me it was very good at painting a vibrant picture of not only his life, but of Paris at the time.

I really felt for Wilde, and I knew that his decline was coming as I read, but the last part portrayed it well, in fits and starts as I’d imagine his last days would seem, sober and then not, in pain and then not. The book gives me a greater appreciation of Wilde, and I will have to seek out more of his work (I’ve only read Dorian Grey).

I’m also impressed with the writing of the author, John Vanderslice. I may also be looking up some of his other works, too!

I was provided this book by the author for an honest review.

Praise

“With elegant prose and a glittering wit of which Wilde himself would approve, John Vanderslice brings to life this agent provocateur’s final act. Masterfully merges insight and imagination with the historical and literary record to provide a portrait that is rich and nuanced and utterly compelling.” – Rachel Hall, author of Heirlooms.

“John Vanderslice lays bare the consequences of Wilde’s betrayal by those whom he loved and trusted. The Last Days of Oscar Wilde is a grim reminder of the destructive power of senseless persecution.” —Jennifer Steil, author of The Woman Who Fell From the Sky.

“A quiet, tender portrait of a literary giant.” Kirkus Reviews

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About John Vanderslice

John Vanderslice is the author of Island Fog (Lavender Ink), a collection of ten stories and two novellas set on Nantucket Island, named by Library Journal as one of the Top 15 Indie Fiction titles of 2014. A native of the Washington DC area, John has an MFA from George Mason University and a PhD from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette (ULL). After graduating from ULL in 1997, he began teaching at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA), where he is a much loved professor of writing. His fiction has been published in many leading journals, as well as several anthologies, including Chick for a Day and The Best of The First Line.

New series coming soon! The WOMEN OF STAMPEDE are here!

Women of Stampede

Howdy Readers!

Saddle up for the ride! The Women of Stampede will lasso your hearts!

If you love romance novels with a western flair, look no further than the Women of Stampede series. Calgary, Red Deer, and Edmonton authors have teamed up to create seven contemporary romance novels loosely themed around The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth… the Calgary Stampede.

Among our heroes and heroines, you’ll fall in love with innkeepers, country singers, rodeo stars, barrel racers, chuckwagon drivers, trick riders, Russian Cossack riders, western-wear designers and bareback riders. And we can’t forget our oil executives, corporate planners, mechanics, nursing students and executive chefs.

We have broken hearts, broken bodies, and broken spirits to mend, along with downed fences and shattered relationships. Big city lights. Small town nights. And a fabulous blend of city dwellers and country folk for your reading pleasure.

Best of all, hearts are swelling with love, looking for Mr. or Miss Right and a happily ever after ending.

Seven fabulous books from seven fabulous authors (including me!) featuring a loosely connected theme – The Calgary Stampede.

Coming this June to a bookseller near you!

Happy new year! (and year in review)

MidnightAtTheOrpheusI hope everyone has had a lovely holiday season, and that your 2018 will be all you wish it to be!

2017 was a year full of ups and downs for me, personally and professionally. In late 2016, I found out that Midnight at the Orpheus had won a Rainbow Award for best bisexual fiction. I was delighted, especially as that book had been one that I’d been told was too complicated and should be either a lesbian romance or a mystery. So to have it win, and in its original form, was satisfying.

In February, I presented with M Jane Colette at Owl’s Nest Books, with “More Than a Guilty Pleasure: Reading and Writing Romance and Erotica in the Age of Plentiful Cyber Porn.” I was sick with a horrible cold, but the evening was fabulous, with a good turnout and great participation from the audience. (We even included our parents! And they didn’t seem to mind too much!)

mjc-more-than-a-guilty-pleasure-event-banner

I also contributed to the collection SCREW CHOCOLATE, adding a new Alex and Vee story to the lexicon. I highly recommend it, and if you want more Alex and Vee, my favourite May-December lesbian romance, check out my free reads and Vee: Volume One.

Most of my year was a quiet one in terms of my writing. I spent time with my Calgary Romance Writers of America chapter, attending two workshops, one with Eve Silver in the spring, and one with Marie Force and Joanna Mackenzie in the fall. Both were interesting and gave me ideas for new works.

WWCIn August, I attended When Words Collide conference in Calgary, and M Jane Colette and I adapted our presentation for More Than a Guilty Pleasure. It was fantastic, and again, great participation from the audience. I am always nervous with panels and presentations, but having such a great and amazingly inspiring friend like M Jane gets me out of my comfort zone. We might do a panel or presentation next year too, and though my stomach roils at the thought of being in front of so many people, I know we’ll have a good time, and hopefully educate and engage at the same time.

NGR

And then, oh my goodness. Thanks to the awesome Naked Girls Reading, who in November, read scenes from Midnight at the Orpheus during their performances at the Taboo! Sex Show. Nothing quite like a brand new audience, and to hear my words being read aloud, performed, by amazing naked women. Many thanks to Keely Kamikaze (and M Jane for introducing us!)

To round off my writing, I have a short piece in the YYC Queer Writers collection entitled Queer Christmas in Cowtown. The book was curated by M Jane, and though I missed the launch at Owl’s Nest (darn illness), I was delighted to hear that the book had sold out at launch, and made it into Calgary’s top-selling non-fiction book list! If you haven’t picked it up yet, please do, because all royalties go towards Camp Fyrefly.

19693834_10154423428025989_6666647511696427711_oIn my personal life, I was definitely busy. Tony and I moved to our new place at the end of March and rented out my condo in Calgary. In the last ten years or so, I’ve moved probably five times (or maybe more) and it’s hectic and busy and nutty every time. And somehow I always end up with more books, clothes, and other things that I don’t know what to do with. But with Tony’s help, I managed to reduce my book collection, donate a bunch of stuff, and get everything ready to go. It was worth it though, as we’re happily settled in our new home and I’ve never felt so content.

zowiepandora001

2017 was also a year of some losses, some incredibly difficult ones. My cats, Pandora and Zowie, who I’d had since they were six weeks old in 1998, both passed away due to kidney disease. They had been with me for 18 (and in Zowie’s case, almost 19) years, and thus more than half my life. To have to say goodbye was tough, and it’s still painful, though getting better. I’m glad that I had support through the tough decisions.

Screen Shot 2018-01-01 at 11.32.46 AM

But, in other happier news, Tony and I adopted a Scottish deerhound puppy from Fernhill Deerhounds in Ontario. He was born in February and is now almost 11 months old. Byron joined us in mid-May, at 12 weeks old, and has grown like a weed. He joined our 10 year old greyhound, Arch, who was not too certain he wanted to have to teach a puppy his manners. And after Zowie passed away in October, we adopted a 5-year-old cat from the Cochrane Humane Society, named Norton. So if you’re keeping track, that’s a household of two people, two dogs (Arch & Byron), and three cats (Percy, Bismarck, and Norton) as we go into the new year.

ArchNorton Percy & Bismarck

Coming up next year are a few exciting things, including a secret project which you will learn about in a few months… I can’t say any more yet! :)

And last but not least, I want to thank a number of people, without whom this year wouldn’t have been what it was. To my parents and family for all their support; to my friend and crit partner Cathy Pegau, who is amazing and thoughtful and a great writer too; to my CaRWA friends and chapter buddies, who are a great support and inspiration; to M Jane Colette for pushing me to do more stuff; and most of all to Tony, who makes every day better.

A little late, but I’m in the anthology Queer Christmas in Cowtown!

queer-christmas-in-cowtown-kindleCurated by M Jane Colette, this is a collection of non-fiction stories by YYC Queer Writers. It was #8 on the Calgary non-fiction bestsellers list last week!

A baker’s dozen of queer Christmas stories for the twelve days of Christmas. An exercise in writing—storytelling—story finishing—and story sharing.

The writers were asked to write “true” and “queer.” (Also, short. Because, shiny things!) Their interpretations of these instructions are as marvellously unique—and queer—and true—as they are.

The book is available on Amazon in paperback and ebook and all royalties go to Camp Fyrefly, “Canada’s only national leadership retreat for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit, asexual, intersex, queer, questioning, and allied youth. The camp provides a space for youth to explore their identity, build resilience and enhance self-esteem, all while having an awesome camp experience. Participants return home with a support network of positive friendships, trusted adult mentors, and an empowered sense of self.” 

queer-up-your-holidayswith-our-fab-book-launch

Book review, excerpt & giveaway: One Sip at a Time, by Keith Van Sickle

One Sip at a TimeKeith Van Sickle

on Tour November 6-17 with

One Sip at a Time:
Learning to Live in Provence

(travel memoir)
Release date: January 28, 2017
at Dresher Publishing
ISBN: 978-0998312002
192 pages
Author’s page | Goodreads

 

SYNOPSIS

Can a two-career couple really pick up stakes and move to Provence?

Keith and Val had a dream – to live in Provence, the land of brilliant sunlight, charming hilltop villages and the deep blue waters of the Mediterranean. But there were two problems: they weren’t French speakers and they had full-time jobs. So they came up with a plan…

Follow their adventures (and misadventures) as they quit their jobs, become consultants and split their time between two countries. Laugh along as they build a life in Provence, slowly mastering a new language and making friends with the locals over long meals and just a bit too much wine.

If you’ve ever dreamed of changing gears and learning what joie de vivre is really all about, you won’t want to miss this delightful book.

EXCERPT

Fear the Beard
My beard trimmer broke so I went to buy a new one at the Intermarché.  I found it on the same aisle that had hair dryers and curling irons and things like that.  Except that the beard trimmers were kept in a locked cabinet.  Quoi?

I tracked down a clerk and asked her to unlock the cabinet so I could get the one I wanted, one that only cost about twenty bucks.  She took it out but wouldn’t give it to me. No, no, that would not be secure, monsieur!  Beard trimmers must follow a special security procedure! I think it must be like the one for a nuclear weapons factory.

First, I was told to go to the “Special Bureau” at the front of the store.  I did that, expecting the lady there to give me the beard trimmer so I could go pay.  Oh no, monsieur!  That would not be secure!  Instead, she gave me a long code to hand to the clerk in the checkout line. This mystified the poor clerk, who must only deal with women, children and clean-shaven men.

But eventually we sorted it out. I paid him and got another piece of paper, this one with a new code, to take back to the Special Bureau.

At this point, I was nervously expecting a retinal scan or maybe a cavity search, but happily I got my beard trimmer.

I asked the lady at the Special Bureau why beard trimmers were kept locked up while the much more expensive hair dryers were not.  She looked around carefully, leaned forward and said in a low voice, “Because of the thieves!”

Yes, it seems that beard trimmers were the most-stolen items in Intermarché stores
nationwide, thus prompting the lockdown.  I thanked her for this important news and held the trimmer tightly, scanning the parking lot as I walked carefully to my car.

Later I thought, is this really the best way to deal with the nationwide epidemic of beard
trimmer robberies? Is French society well served by having its thieves unable to trim their
beards, eventually looking like refugees from a ZZ Top concert? Maybe I should lead the other men in town for a protest march, a very French thing to do.
After trimming my beard, of course.

MY REVIEW

The title really says it all. One sip at a time. Lots of short pieces on living in Provence, and it’s easy to read a few in one sitting, or many (how about half the book? Let’s just say dinner was late that night!) As a not very skilled speaker of French, I could feel awkward along with them, and wince or nod or smile, and then laugh. The stories really make me want to go to Provence!

One anecdote that especially made me chuckle (and wince!) was France’s Worst Off-Ramp. Who knew that the French too had horribly designed roads? No traffic circles, cloverleafs…. just survival of the fittest. I wanted to clench my steering wheel with white-knuckled hands, if I’d had a steering wheel.

This book was a welcome indulgence, a way to live vicariously through the fun and travails of others. Now, though, I think I need to go book a trip to France.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

One Sip at a Time Keith Van Sickle

Keith Van Sickle
is a technology industry veteran
and lifelong traveler
who got his first taste of overseas life
while studying in England during college.
But it was the expat assignment to Switzerland
that made him really fall in love with Europe.
After returning to California, he and his wife Val dreamed of living abroad again
but were unable to find another expat gig.
So they decided to invent their own.
Now they split their time between Silicon Valley and St-Rémy-de-Provence,
delving ever deeper into what makes France so endlessly fascinating.

Find the author on Facebook and Twitter
Visit his website

Subscribe to his mailing list and get information about new releases.

Buy the book on Amazon.com

***

GIVEAWAY

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Visit each blogger on the tour:
tweeting about the giveaway everyday
of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time!
[just follow the directions on the entry-form]

Global giveaway open to all
5 winners

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Midnight at the Orpheus is $2.99 for 24hrs only!

MidnightAtTheOrpheusFrom midnight EST on October 14th, my book Midnight at the Orpheus is on sale at the Bold Strokes Books webstore for only $2.99! If you haven’t picked it up yet, now is the time! 

Chicago, the Roaring Twenties. Cecilia Mills is new to town and struggling to survive. Her world is turned upside down when she falls for gangster Franky Greco’s moll Nell Prescott. Working at The Orpheus dance hall thanks to Nell, Cecilia becomes known as CeeCee and rubs elbows with gangsters and the city’s elite, and she and Nell hide their affair from Greco. 

Patrick Sheridan is fresh out of prison and bent on revenge, with Greco in the crosshairs. He gets a job as CeeCee’s bodyguard, and despite her infatuation with Nell, love blossoms between CeeCee and Sheridan. When Sheridan sees his chance, thanks to a disillusioned cop seeking his own revenge, he must choose where his loyalties lie as CeeCee and Nell are caught in the middle. 

Menage m/f/f.

Book review & giveaway: Drawing Lessons, by Patricia Sands

Drawing LessonsPatricia Sands

on Tour October 2-13 with

Drawing Lessons

(women’s fiction)
Release date: October 1, 2017
at Lake Union Publishing

ISBN: 978-1542045872
352 pages
Author’s page | Goodreads

 

SYNOPSIS

The author of the Love in Provence series returns to the South of France with a poignant portrait of a woman who must learn how to create a new life for herself…

Sixty-two-year-old Arianna arrives in the South of France for a two-week artists’ workshop full of anticipation but burdened by guilt. Back home in Toronto, she has been living with the devastating diagnosis of her husband’s dementia and the heartbreak of watching the man she has loved for decades slip away before her eyes. What does her future hold without Ben? Before her is a blank canvas.

Encouraged by her family to take some time for herself, she has traveled to Arles to set up her easel in the same fields of poppies and sunflowers that inspired Van Gogh. Gradually, she rediscovers the inner artist she abandoned long ago. Drawing strength from the warm companionship and gentle wisdom of her fellow artists at the retreat—as well as the vitality of guest lecturer Jacques de Villeneuve, an artist and a cowboy—Arianna searches her heart for permission to embrace the life in front of her and, like the sunflowers, once again face the light.

MY REVIEW

I’ve read Ms. Sands’ book Promise of Provence and quite enjoyed it, so I was excited to be able to read and review Drawing Lessons as well. Her descriptions of France and of her characters are so vivid that I find it quite easy to bring them all to life in my mind. Of course, it also makes me wish I could be there with them! In this case, in Arles, creating art.

I really felt for Arianna in this novel as Ms. Sands skilfully took me through her everyday life, and the difficulties and sadness that she was experiencing. I wanted to reach through the pages and hug her. Dementia of a loved one is a tough challenge to meet, especially when it progresses to the point that your loved one remembers little to nothing of their family and friends.

This book was on the quieter, introspective side, and it was just what I was looking for.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I Promise You This Patricia SandsPatricia Sands
lives in Toronto,
but her heart’s other home is the South of France.
An avid traveler, she spends part of each year
on the Côte d’Azur
and occasionally leads groups of women
on tours of the Riviera and Provence.
Her award-winning 2010 debut novel, The Bridge Club,
is a book-group favorite,
and The Promise of Provence, which launched her three-part Love in Provence series
(followed by Promises to Keep and I Promise You This),
was a finalist for a 2013 USA Best Book Award
and a 2014 National Indie Excellence Award,
was an Amazon Hot New Release in April 2013,
and was a 2015 nominee for a #RBRT Golden Rose award in the category of romance.
Sands also contributes to such Francophile websites as The Good Life France
and Perfectly Provence, and she appears as a public speaker for women’s groups.

Find Patricia on Facebook,
on Twitter
on Instagram
at her Amazon Author Page
or her website

Subscribe to her mailing list and get information about new releases.

Buy the book on Amazon.com

***

GIVEAWAY

Enter here

Visit each blogger on the tour:
tweeting about the giveaway everyday
of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time!
[just follow the directions on the entry-form]

Global giveaway open to all
2 winners

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AND EXCERPTS

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