A Giveaway and Foreverland Boxed by Tony Bertauski

 

The Complete Foreverland Saga.

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THE ANNIHILATION OF FOREVERLAND
When kids awake on an island, they’re told there was an accident. Before they can go home, they will visit Foreverland, an alternate reality that will heal their minds.
Reed dreams of a girl that tells him to resist Foreverland. He doesn’t remember her name, but knows he once loved her. He’ll have to endure great suffering and trust his dream. And trust he’s not insane.
Danny Boy, the new arrival, meets Reed’s dream girl inside Foreverland. She’s stuck in the fantasy land that no kid can resist. Where every heart’s desire is satisfied. Why should anyone care how Foreverland works?

FOREVERLAND IS DEAD
Six teenage girls wake with no memories. One of them is in a brick mansion, her blonde hair as shiny as her shoes. The others are in a cabin, their names tagged to the inside of their pants. Their heads, shaved. Slashes mark the cabin wall like someone has been counting.
Hundreds of them.
There’s wilderness all around and one dead adult. The girls discover her body rotting somewhere in the trees. As the weeks pass, they band together to survive the cold, wondering where they are and how they got there. And why.
When an old man arrives with a teenage boy, the girls learn of a faraway island called Foreverland where dreams come true and anything is possible. But Foreverland is dead. In order to escape the wilderness, they’ll have to understand where they are.
More importantly, who they are.

ASHES OF FOREVERLAND
Tyler Ballard was in prison when his son created a dreamworld called Foreverland, a place so boundless and spellbinding that no one ever wanted to leave. Or did. Now his son is dead, his wife is comatose and Tyler is still imprisoned.
But he planned it that way.
The final piece of his vision falls into place when Alessandra Diosa investigates the crimes of Foreverland. Tyler will use her to create a new dimension of reality beyond anything his son ever imagined—a Foreverland for the entire world.
Danny, living outside of Spain since escaping the very first Foreverland, begins receiving mysterious clues that lead him to Cyn. They are both Foreverland survivors, but they have more in common than survival. They become pieces of another grand plan, one designed to stop Tyler Ballard. No one knows who is sending the clues, but some suspect Reed, another Foreverland survivor. Reed, however, is dead.
Everyone will make one last trip back to Foreverland to find out who sent them. And why.

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AUTHOR BIO

During the day, I’m a horticulturist. While I’ve spent much of my career designing landscapes or diagnosing dying plants, I’ve always been a storyteller. My writing career began with magazine columns, landscape design textbooks, and a gardening column at the Post and Courier (Charleston, SC). However, I’ve always fancied fiction.
My grandpa never graduated high school. He retired from a steel mill in the mid-70s. He was uneducated, but he was a voracious reader. I remember going through his bookshelves of paperback sci-fi novels, smelling musty old paper, pulling Piers Anthony and Isaac Asimov off shelf and promising to bring them back. I was fascinated by robots that could think and act like people. What happened when they died?
I’m a cynical reader. I demand the writer sweep me into his/her story and carry me to the end. I’d rather sail a boat than climb a mountain. That’s the sort of stuff I want to write, not the assigned reading we got in school. I want to create stories that kept you up late.author
Having a story unfold inside your head is an experience different than reading. You connect with characters in a deeper, more meaningful way. You feel them, empathize with them, cheer for them and even mourn. The challenge is to get the reader to experience the same thing, even if it’s only a fraction of what the writer feels. Not so easy.
In 2008, I won the South Carolina Fiction Open with Four Letter Words, a short story inspired by my grandfather and Alzheimer’s Disease. My first step as a novelist began when I developed a story to encourage my young son to read. This story became The Socket Greeny Saga. Socket tapped into my lifetime fascination with consciousness and identity, but this character does it from a young adult’s struggle with his place in the world.
After Socket, I thought I was done with fiction. But then the ideas kept coming, and I kept writing. Most of my work investigates the human condition and the meaning of life, but not in ordinary fashion. About half of my work is Young Adult (Socket Greeny, Claus, Foreverland) because it speaks to that age of indecision and the struggle with identity. But I like to venture into adult fiction (Halfskin, Drayton) so I can cuss. Either way, I like to be entertaining.
And I’m a big fan of plot twists.

 

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EXCERPT

Click-click-click-click.

The walls inched closer. Reed gripped the bars of his shrinking cell.

His legs, shaking.

The cold seeped through his bare feet. The soles were numb, his ankles ached. He lifted his feet one at a time, alternating back and forth to keep the bitter chill from reaching his groin, but he couldn’t waste strength anymore. He let go of the bars to shake the numbness from his fingers.

He’d been standing for quite some time. Has it been hours? Occasionally he would sit to rest his aching legs, but soon the cell would be too narrow for that. He’d have to stand up. And when the top of his cage started moving down – and it would – he’d be forced to not-quite stand, not-quite sit.

He knew how things worked.

Although he couldn’t measure time in the near-blackout room, this round felt longer than previous ones. Perhaps it would never end. Maybe he’d have to stand until his knees crumbled under his dead weight. His frigid bones would shatter like frozen glass when he hit the ground. He’d fall like a boneless bag, his muscles liquefied in a soupy mix of lactic acid and calcium, his nerves firing randomly, his eyes bulging, teeth chattering—

Don’t think. No thoughts.

Reed learned that his suffering was only compounded by thoughts, that the false suffering of what he thought would happen would crush him before the true suffering did. He learned to be present with the burning, the cold, and the aches. The agony.

He couldn’t think. He had to be present, no matter what.

Sprinklers dripped from the ribs of the domed ceiling that met at the apex where an enormous ceiling fan still moved from the momentum of its last cycle. Eventually, the sprinklers would hiss another cloud and the fan would churn again and the damp air would sift through the bars and over Reed’s wet skin, heightening the aches in his joints like clamps. For now, there was just the drip of the sprinklers and the soft snoring of his cellmates.

Six individual cells were inside the building, three on each side of a concrete aisle. Each one contained a boy about Reed’s age. They were all in their teens, the youngest being fourteen. Their cells were spacious; only Reed’s had gotten smaller. Despite the concrete, they all lay on the floor, completely unaware of the anguish inside the domed building.

They weren’t sleeping, though. Sleep is when you close your eyes and drift off to unconsciousness. No, they were somewhere else. The black strap around each of their heads took them away from the pain. They had a choice to stay awake like Reed, but they chose to lie down, strap on, and go wherever it took them. They didn’t care where.

In fact, they wanted to go.

To escape.

Reed couldn’t blame them. They were kids. They were scared and alone. Reed was all those things, too. But he didn’t have a strap around his head. He stayed in his flesh.

He took a deep breath, let it out slowly. Started counting, again.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9…10.

And then he did it again. Again.

And again.

He didn’t measure time with his breathing. He only breathed. His life was in his breath. It ebbed and flowed like the tides. It came and went like the lunar phases. When he could be here and now, the suffering was tolerable. He counted, and counted and counted.

Distracted, he looked up at the fan. The blades had come to a complete stop. The air was humid and stagnant and cold. Around the domed ceiling were circular skylights that stared down with unforgiving blackness, indifferent to suffering. Reed tried not to look with the hopes of seeing light pour through them, signaling an end. Regardless if it was day or night, the skylights were closed until the round of suffering was over, so looking, hoping and wishing for light was no help. It only slowed time when he did. And time had nearly stopped where he was at.

1, 2, 3—

A door opened at the far right; light knifed across the room, followed by a metallic snap and darkness again. Hard shoes clicked unevenly across the floor. Reed smelled the old man before he limped in front of his cell, a fragrance that smelled more like deodorant than cologne. Mr. Smith looked over his rectangular glasses.

“Reed, why do you resist?”

Reed met his gaze but didn’t reply. Mr. Smith wasn’t interested in a discussion. It was always a lecture. No point to prolong it.

“Don’t be afraid.” The dark covered his wrinkles and dyed-black hair, but it couldn’t hide his false tone. “I promise, you try it once, you’ll see. You don’t have to do it again if you don’t like it. We’re here to help, my boy. Here to help. You don’t have to go through this suffering.”

Did he forget they were the ones that put him in there? Did he forget they made the rules and called the shots and forced him to play? Reed knew he – himself – he had gone mad but IS EVERYONE CRAZY?

Reed let his thoughts play in his eyes. Mr. Smith crossed his arms, unmoved.

“We don’t want to hurt you, I promise. We’re just here to prepare you for a better life, that’s all. Just take the lucid gear, the pain will go away. I promise.”

He reached through the bars and batted the black strap hanging above Reed’s head. It turned like a seductive mobile. Reed turned his back on him. Mr. Smith sighed. A pencil scratched on a clipboard.

“Have it your way, Reed,” he said, before limp-shuffling along. “The Director wants to see you after this round is over.”

He listened to the incessant lead-scribbled notes and click-clack of shiny shoes. When Mr. Smith was gone, Reed was left with only the occasional drip of the dormant sprinklers. He began to breathe again, all the way to ten and over. And over. And over. No thoughts. Just 1, 2, 3… 1, 2, 3… 1, 2—

Click-click-click-click.

Reed locked his knees and leaned back as the cell walls moved closer. Soon the fan would turn again and the mist would drift down to bead on his shoulders. Reed couldn’t stop the thoughts from telling him what the near future would feel like. How bad it was going to get.

He looked up at the lucid gear dangling above his head.

He took a breath.

And began counting again.

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Book Blast and $20 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

Dukkha Fate Series

-Sweet Romance

-Interracial, Multicultural, New Adult, Paranormal, Werewolf, Shifter.

-Hero is Native American, heroine is African American with East African origins.

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When a man with an ancient grudge meets and falls in love with the innocent girl who’s life was ruined by his vendetta, complicated isn’t word enough to describe the situation he finds himself in. His chance with her would be shot to hell if she were to find out his role in her family’s death. She would probably take the news that he was 325 year old werewolf much better.

The second installment of the Dukkha Fate Series will be available on 26th May! =D And not only that, there will be a $20 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway through Rafflecopter. Better you’re chance by giving multiple entries through my Facebook page. Other prizes include 3 copies of The Hunted by Kenyan Knight and 2 copies of Fate Reborn.

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Book Blurb:

Life had been great these past few weeks. I have a hot boyfriend, got back my dad and my adopted sisters were happy with their significant others. Life was good. That is until I started getting attacked by bouts of pain that would render me unconscious. Something was wrong with me, Ash knew but he wasn’t sharing. Worse than that, Steve in the worst form possible is back to haunt me. And Ash with his hug archaic pride just won’t let it go. Oh, but I haven’t gotten to the worst part yet…hell!

What’s a girl to do to get some long term happiness?

Excerpt:

“You two have gotten serious over a short amount of time. Are you sure you’re ready for all of it?”

“Everything is so wonderful because I love Ash and he loves me. What I’m not ready for is the change that is going on inside me. It scares me. If I had a choice, I’d remain human and normal, but I don’t.” This was the first time I was admitting this out loud.

I didn’t hate the fact I would be like Ash, that I loved, what I hated was all the dangers and the constant fear that came with it. Fear of hurting my sisters, fear of loosing someone I love. The constant danger we were in because of Baku and Sabrina. Legends and myths had become reality, threatening every semblance of normality for me especially after all I had been through. Life was never going to be easy on me.

“Don’t worry Lee, things will work out.”

“I hope so,” I cringed as a familiar pain ripped through me. I panicked knowing exactly what was coming next. “Maria, please pull over,” I unbuckled my seat belt and reclined my seat. This time I would unwillingly be ready for it.

“What’s wrong Lee?” Maria sounded scared.

“The pain is about to hit,” fear coated my voice heavily. I pressed my lips together and put my hand over my belly. I didn’t have to wait long before a stronger pain ripped through me. I cringed bending backwards pressing my feet against the dashboard. Ann was right the pain was going to be worse than last time..

Maria pulled over to the side of the road and spoke frantically on the phone. I could tell she was talking to Ann. Before I could hear a word of the conversation, longer heavier pains ripped from all sides of my belly. There was no holding the scream that rushed out my throat. I turned to my side, and grabbed at the door, trying to get some air into my lungs.

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Deep Trouble by Jean Erhardt

 

Guest Post

Award winning Southern author, Allen Gurganus, best known for his 1989 debut
novel, Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, once wrote:

“The novelist needs both a dictionary and a cemetery. Graveyards offer more than
your eventual remaindered resting-shelf. Approached in the joyful spirit of
mortal play, they provide historic bullet points, bird sanctuaries, excellent
fictitious names, and the lifelong source of such sweet calm.”

Perhaps, Gurganus’ words were floating around in the back of my mind when I
accepted a position as a family service counselor at a cemetery in Portland,
Oregon. My job is to assist families with their preneed arrangements as well as
those who are at need. I spend a lot of time in the cemetery, or park as we call
it. Every day I am reminded of all of the many lives and stories that are
evidenced when I pass each grave and headstone, from Hattie T. who lived 103
years to infants who never took their first breaths.

I visit with those who have come to pay their respects to their loved ones like
Melanie S. whose young husband’s life was taken in a tragic car accident. She
brings along a CD player because he was a jazz musician and loved music, and she
sits for hours at his grave each week and listens quietly to Chet Baker, Dave
Brubeck and Ornette Coleman. Sam H. brings apples and leaves them on his
sister’s grave because he knows that the deer will come for them. Holly R., who
is five years, old recently lost her mother to breast cancer. She comes on the
weekends with her cousins and aunt who sits by the grave quietly as Holly and
her cousins run and play in and around the headstones.

Life and death, the inescapable circle, and everything that happens in between
is what we as writers are responsible to observe, absorb, filter, allow to
marinade in the juices of our own experiences and record. This is a weighty
responsibility, but one that can bring great satisfaction, even joy and,
occasionally more than a bit of humor.

 


 

About The Author

I was raised in the small rural town of Amelia, Ohio, about twenty five miles
out of Cincinnati. My younger brother and sister and I had a pony, a horse, many
great dogs and a couple of motorcycles. We raised a lot of hell. My father
served in The Big One at 17 and, after riding a motorcycle around Europe, became
a lawyer and later a judge. My mother worked as a homemaker and nurse, a skill
she had to use a lot with all of the injuries my siblings and I subjected
ourselves and one another to.

I wrote my first mystery story when I was in fourth grade. It was about a kid a
lot like me who heard strange noises coming from the attic and became convinced
that the attic was haunted. Eventually, the mystery was solved when she
investigated and found a squirrel eating nuts in a dark corner. It wasn’t a
terribly exciting conclusion, but my teacher gave me an A anyway.

As a teenager I worked at a lot of different jobs. I worked at a gift shop in
Gatlinburg, Tennessee, which is a frequent locale in my books. I was a swimming
instructor and a lifeguard where my primary goal was to never get wet. I did a
stint in a stuffed animal gift shop at the Kings Island amusement park where I
actually sort of met the Partridge Family when they shot an episode there. After
graduating from high school, I went on to attend Maryville College in Maryville,
Tennessee, a stone’s throw from the Great Smoky Mountains. There was some more
hell raising at college and I made some very good friends and occasionally we
have our own private reunions.

In high school and college I played basketball and I graduated from Maryville
College with a degree in Phys Ed. I went on to teach at Amelia Junior High, the
same junior high that I had attended. There was something a little weird about
passing by my old school locker every day when I walked down the hall as a
teacher. Plus, some of the teachers I’d had back when I was in junior high were
still working when I started to teach. Some of them had been none too fond of me
as a student and I don’t think they were much fonder of me as a teacher! I
coached the girls’ basketball and volleyball teams which was the best part of my
job.

In my late 20’s I moved to the West Coast to get a broader perspective on life
or something like that. I ended up working in retail security, or loss
prevention, as it is now known, at an upscale Northwest retailer. I kept getting
promoted and with each promotion, the job became less and less fun. It was a lot
more fun catching shoplifters than sitting in endless meetings and crunching
budgets. After ten years of that, I quit to try my hand at some serious writing.
I wrote two books of fiction (not mysteries), Benny’s World and Kippo’s World,
as well as a book of not-especially-reverent poetry called A Girl’s Guide to God
and numerous short stories, articles and poems which have appeared in The Sonora
Review, The Quarterly, Word of Mouth, Blue Stocking and 8-Track Mind.

After that, it was time to go back to work. I got my private investigator’s
license and hung out my shingle. At first, I took a lot of the cheaters cases.
It seemed to me that if a guy thought his woman was cheating, he was usually
wrong. On the other hand, if a woman thought her guy was cheating, she was
almost always right. Eventually, I moved on to take mostly criminal defense
investigation work which often involved trying to figure out what the client did
and didn’t do and then minimize the damage of what they usually did do. There
were so many crazy ways that people could get themselves in trouble. In one
case, the attorney I was working for represented a wife who had gotten so
enraged about all of the time and affection her husband lavished on his pet
iguana that she shot the poor iguana and killed it. The husband was furious and
wanted the district attorney to press charges. The wife was eventually charged
with reckless endangerment and took a pretty sweet deal because even the DA felt
sorry for the fact that she was married to such a schmuck.

It was an interesting ten years. Somewhere in this time period I began to write
the Kim Claypoole Mystery Series, which was a great distraction and a lot of
fun. I liked the idea of having many of the same characters appear in each book.
So here I am now, working on the fifth book in the series.

 


About The Book

The Fourth of July isn’t going at all as Kim Claypoole expected. It starts with
a bang, including a run-in with a dead body, and ends with her juvenile
delinquent nephew, Little Bucky, disappearing from her double-wide trailer on a
souped up Suzuki.

When Little Bucky fails to return and no one seems concerned but Claypoole, she
sets out to find her wayward nephew. Nothing ever goes easy for Claypoole, and
her investigation soon involves several trips to Krispy Kreme, a visit to Jesus
Our Savior Bible Camp and some nasty encounters with a series of backwoods
characters, including hillbilly counterfeiters and a major league Smoky Mountain
dope dealer. In the midst of this chaos and while Claypoole is desperately
trying to keep a rocky romance on track, her kooky mother and redneck cousin
Alonzo show up for a surprise visit. Relatives, murder and love—all ingredients
in a recipe for Deep Trouble.

 


Links

Website  | Facebook  |
Twitter  | Jean
Erhardt’s Amazon Author Page
  |

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|
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Giveaway

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on which month you are hosting.

 

July Giveaway

 

One signed copy of Small Town Trouble (US only)

One of Five E-Books of Deep Trouble (International)


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October Giveaway

 

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November Giveaway

 

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December Giveaway

 

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January Giveaway

 

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February Giveaway

 

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One of Five E-Books of Deep Trouble (International)


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March Giveaway

 

One signed copy of Small Town Trouble (US only)

One of Five E-Books of Deep Trouble (International)


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Good vs. Evil by A.J. Lape

 

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Who I decide to make a villain/hero in my novels is a very organic thing for me—not in the nuts and granola, Birkenstock sense (hehehee)—but it’s all about making changes and adjustments as you go. Like all writers, I go into my head and let the characterstake over. Sometimes I get afraid of what they say, and then I get afraid to write it down, and at times I wonder, Is it okay to print what these people do because some of it is straight-up horror show and so soulless it’s like Dante’s outer circle. I guess it comes down to how comfortable you are with good and how comfortable you are with evil. Everyone is comfortable with good, right? But sometimes you don’t know what “good” truly is until you compare it to its polar opposite. I have one character that I write, Ivy Morrison, who is classic mean-girl—from her all-white, in-your-face ensemble, to a rockin’ body, and a face that looks like Barbie. Poison Ivy was hard for me in the beginning. I didn’t want her to throw mean barbs at Darcy or her friends because I wanted to jump on the page and punch her lights out myself. But at the end of the day, I thought, pretty girl + mean girl x teenage jealousy = high school. I couldn’t get around diving into the meanies of the meanies and show a true depiction of what high school life can be like without letting Ivy be, er, poison. The same thing goes for my villains. Once it is revealed to me in the writing process what a character is like, then the crime sort of goes hand in hand. Oftentimes I will write a character one way, and then in the back of my mind I’ll hear this little voice that says, He or she may do bad things, but there’s more to this character than meets the eye. When that happens, the backstory will unfold, and I will decide how much I will tell the reader in that particular book. Why? Because I may want to bring that character back, give them a larger part, or maybe even redeem them. Or perhaps they will always be victim of their flaws and just can’t get out of their own way. Whatever the case, when youare writing, you have to embrace “the truth.” You can’t sugarcoat a personality—or put lipstick on a pig—and have a reader walk away with a believable character. The pig will still be the pig.

100 Proof Stud by A.J. Lape 
(The Darcy Walker Series #3) 
Publication date: May 13th 2014
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult

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Synopsis:

Sometimes life smacks you right in the kisser with a whole lot of ohhhh craaaaap.

Just ask Darcy Walker.

100 Proof Stud picks up four months after No Brainer’s cliffhanger ending, and Darcy discovers the aftermath pales in comparison to the crisis her heart is in. All of a sudden it’s raining men, and this teenage heroine’s personal life turns her inside out.

Before she can sort out her feelings, she chases a spray-painting vandal and stumbles upon a case of identity theft right in her own backyard. Darcy jumps into the fray headfirst to prove she can hang with the big boys.

But it’s not just to hang…nope, she’s chasing reward money.

Tapping her band of misfit brothers for help, she turns Valley upside down trying to unearth the criminals. Problem is, the cloak and dagger goes high-octane, and she raises the bar on “crazy” in the process.

Bullets ring out…dead bodies appear…and Darcy rubs shoulders with the ultimate sociopath. In the midst of murder and mayhem, will she finally follow her heart or build a fortress of lies around it? Will she even get the chance?

Goodreads

Purchase: Amazon
 
AJAUTHOR BIO

A. J. lives in Cincinnati with her husband, two feministic daughters, an ADD dog, a spoiled hamster, and an unapologetic and unrepentant addiction to Coca-Cola. She studied English, Journalism, and Political Science at Morehead State University and left the business world when her daughters were born. Her love for suspense and a good story was born from watching Mystery Science Theater with her sister during childhood. That and any B-movie with comedic undertones they could get their hands on.

From a small town in Kentucky, her sister and she lived in their imaginations on a regular basis, and A.J.’s love for the bizarre and paranormal still holds true to this day. She loves roller coasters, scary movies, and haunted houses and the weird sense of accomplishment it gives her when she can make it through without keeling over.

If Life has taught her anything, it’s the need to acquire a wicked sense of humor, come up swinging, and to never, ever give up…no matter what obstacle is in front of you.

When she’s not riding that razor-thin line between creativity and insanity, she likes to read, watch too much cable TV, or cheer like a banshee at her daughters’ sporting events.

A. J. loves to connect with fans! You can find her via Twitter and Facebook or send an email.

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ajlape
Twitter: http://twitter.com/darcywalker13
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAJLape
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/ajlape

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