Booktopia Romance Buzz
September 2012 | Edition Forty-One
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KATE'S MONTH AHEAD
Gentle Readers,
What fun was had at this year's Romance Writers of Australia conference on the sunny Gold Coast! We've listed the winners of the Romantic Book of the Year award over on the side, so be sure to grab a copy of the best Australian romance of 2011. But what is truly good news for readers is the announcement of two new digital-first imprints in Australia, including the all new Harlequin Escape, being managed by none other than - me!

We're looking for Australian voices, so if you've got a story to share, let us know. And if you're interested in reading stories from fresh Australian talent, the first titles are coming out in October, so watch this space!

What I've Just Finished: I thoroughly enjoyed Kylie Griffin's Alliance Forged. If you haven't started this fantasy romance series from a homegrown talent, what on Earth are you waiting for?

What I'm Reading Now: I'm indulging in a slow read of Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus. The world-building is so exquisite, to read fast seems like a travesty!

What I Can't Wait For: Have you checked out the Erotic Romance section? Two new books in two addictive series, and I can't wait to sink my teeth into both!

Until next month, happy reading!
Kate

Kate Cuthbert
Editor
Booktopia Romance Buzz



NINE NAUGHTY QUESTIONS WITH...ANNA CAMPBELL
It has to be said - we just can't get enough of Anna Campbell! After all, she's been voted Australia's Favourite Romance Author three years running, her books are best-sellers, and she regularly comes up in best-of-the-year lists.

So how could I resist asking her to bare some of her soul with our Nine Naughty Questions - and tell us a little bit about her new novel, a gothic fairytale, out this month.

Enjoy!

 1. I wonder, is a romance writer born or made? Please tell us little about your life before publication.

Click here for details Thanks for having me as your guest today, Kate and Booktopia! I suspect I was genetically programmed to be a romance writer - or at least a romance reader. Both my mother and grandmother were avid romance fans. I read my first romance (a Mills and Boon) when I was eight and I've been hooked in the genre ever since. I decided pretty early I wanted to be a writer and when I read Kathleen Woodiwiss's The Wolf and the Dove at around 14, I decided I wanted to write big, gutsy historical romances like that. Before I was published, I had a lot of different jobs to work around my writing time. I sold my first book Claiming the Courtesan in 2006. I've been a full-time writer ever since.

2. For all the glitz and the glam associated with the idea of romance novels, writing about and from the heart is personal and very revealing. Do you think this is why romance readers are such devoted fans? And do you ever feel exposed?

You've really put your finger on the secret of a great romance - it comes from the heart and it touches a reader's heart. Readers love to go on that intense emotional journey with the characters and close the book with a sigh of happiness at the end. I think if you want to touch people's emotions, you have to touch your own, or at least venture into those dark places you mightn't like to visit. None of my books are autobiographical (strange, that!) but the themes of my stories come from my particular world view and experiences.

3. Please tell us about your latest novel...

Click here for details Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed (out 25th September) is the first book in the Sons of Sin series. It's an intense historical romance, a gothic take on Beauty and the Beast, set in Devon in the first quarter of the 19th century. Here's the blurb:

Will a week of seduction...
Desperate to save her sister's life, Sidonie Forsythe has agreed to submit herself to a terrible fate: Beyond the foreboding walls of Castle Craven, a notorious, hideously scarred scoundrel will take her virtue over the course of seven sinful nights. Yet instead of a monster, she encounters a man like no other. And during this week, she comes to care for Jonas Merrick in ways that defy all logic-even as a dark secret she carries threatens them both.

...Spark a lifetime of passionate surrender?
Ruthless loner Jonas knows exactly who he is. Should he forget, even for a moment, the curse he bears, a mere glance in the mirror serves as an agonizing reminder. So when the lovely Sidonie turns up on his doorstep, her seduction is an even more delicious prospect than he originally planned. But the hardened outcast is soon moved by her innocent beauty, sharp wit, and surprising courage. Now as dangerous enemies gather at the gate to destroy them, can their new, fragile love survive?

4. Is the life of a published romance writer... well... romantic?

What did you say? I was too busy putting three dozen long-stemmed red roses in water while a string quartet serenaded me on the terrace.

5. Of all of the romantic moments in your life is there one moment, more dear than all the rest, against which you judge all the romantic elements in your writing? If so can you tell us about that special moment?

I think the way I use my own special romantic moments is to summon up the powerful emotions I felt at the time so that they enrich my characters' inner lives.

6. Sex in romance writing today ranges from 'I can't believe they're allowed to publish this stuff' explicit to 'turn the light back on I can't see a thing' mild. How important do you think sex is in a romance novel?

I think each story finds its own appropriate sensuality level. As a reader, I tend to cover the gamut, although I must say I love it when the characters are naked emotionally as well as physically, so I guess I'm a reader who likes it when they don't close the bedroom door. Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed is a story about a couple falling in love through a seduction so it's not short of steamy bits.

7. Click here for detailsRomance writers are often romance readers - please tell us your five favourite (read and re-read) romance novels or five novels that influenced your work most?

Only five? I'm going to cheat and start with a series - Dorothy Dunnett's amazing Lymond Chronicles starting with The Game of Kings. A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson (recently republished with the much less evocative title of The Secret Countess). Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase. Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale. Cry No Click here for details More by Linda Howard.

8. Paranormal Romance writing is 'so hot right now', do you have any thoughts on why?

I think there are many reasons, but one that I don't think gets nearly enough attention is that there are some really excellent writers in paranormal romance right now. New Zealand's Nalini Singh is a case in point.

9. Lastly, what advice do you give aspiring writers?

Read, read, read and write, write, write. And join Romance Writers of Australia. http://www.romanceaustralia.com/

HOT HISTORICALS
 If Anna Campbell has left you desperate for more, have no fear - we've got all your historical romance needs met here. 
INDISCREET
NOT PROPER ENOUGH

HOW A LADY WEDS A ROGUE
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Candace Camp continues her dominance of dress-centric covers and regency romance.

She needs him, and he needs her, but for very different reasons - and ones they're not going to share with each other. But when the deceptions end and the truth comes out, what will there be to hold on to?

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Indiscreet


Carolyn Jewel continues her Seducing the Scoundrels series this month with a tale of sworn enemies finding that opposites attract - and that maybe Mr Wrong is Mr Right after all.

He's loved her forever, but pride caused him to lose her. Now it seems fate has offered him a second chance.

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Not Proper Enough


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Did you all take my Katharine Ashe challenge and dive in to one of her novels? I did - lady pirates, secret histories - delightful. You've got a chance again this month - don't miss it!

She knows society's rules, but following them won't help her reach her goal. He will, though. Even if he's not exactly willing to get involved.

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How a Lady Weds a Rogue

THE LADY RISKS ALL
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Not one but two great dames of Australian Historical Romance - Stephanie Laurens revisits one of her more intriguing secondary characters to give him a happily-ever-after ending of his own.

Neville Roscoe gave up everything to become London's Gambling King and save his family from ruin. But the price means total isolation - power coupled with loneliness. Miranda has always been a slave to respectability, unable to step foot outside of society's rigid strictures. But when her brother disappears, respectability wars with her need to find him, and soon both Miranda and Neville are both throwing off their self-imposed shackles and discovering the thrill of scandalous freedom.

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RULES TO CATCH A DEVILISH DUKE

THE LAST RENEGADE
Readers, I love Suzanne Enoch. Great heroines, lovely stories, laugh-out-loud humour. What's not to love?

The circumstances of her birth mean she will never be a lady of polite society. So when she receives an unexpected, one-off invitation, she's determined to enjoy herself before surrendering herself to a middle-class marriage and a life of boundaries. Because even if he is on the search for a wife, she knows it can't ever, ever be her.

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Like a little Western in your histories? Jo Goodman delivers, with all the cowboy you can handle.

She owns the town saloon, which makes er privy to all sorts of information - including the man behind the town's current troubles. Unable to deal with it herself, she hires Kellen, a shootist to act as the town's protector. But Kellen has more secrets than he has guns, and Raine has troubles enough of her own.

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The Last Renegade

ELECTRIFYING EROTIC ROMANCE
Winter's over - how better to celebrate a bit of spring fever than with the best of this month's erotic romance?
WHAT'S HOT IN EROTIC ROMANCE?
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Readers, I can't tell you how much I loved Tiffany Reisz's The Siren. I read an awful lot (you may have noticed), and it's very hard to surprise me, but the story of Nora, a part-time dominatrix desperate to make it as an author, and Zach, her editor and not a man who delves in to the world of 'trash', is wholly captivating.

The second novel in this series, The Angel is out this month and follows Nora after her book is published. Her ex-lover Soren is under investigation, and Nora needs to lie low and away from the scrutiny. So she takes her protege, Michael and disappears to a luxurious country estate. But geography can't stop her past from making an appearance, and Nora still has a few secrets to reveal.

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Click here for details or to order I'm going to admit, I didn't bond with 50 Shades of Grey. But boy did I get into Sylvia Day's Crossfire novels. I read them when they were first self-published, so it's thrilling that they've found a publisher to release them with such beautiful covers. If you like erotic romance with strong characters and Sylvia Day's trademark heat (and, guys, it is hot), then I urge you to give the Crossfire trilogy a try. The second book is out this month.

Gideon and Eva burn hot together, tiptoeing on the edge of obsession, flirting with dark pleasures. But both are damaged, broken by their violent pasts. And while being together brings some peace, can two broken people ever truly fix each other?

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There's been a lot of talk about erotic romance lately, but it's hardly a new genre - some authors have been heating things up for more than a decade, including Shannon McKenna, one of the sub-genre's defining voices. She has a new novel out this month: Blood and Fire.

Bruno is working overtime to keep his nose clean and his family's business safe. But the past isn't going to stay there, and it's not long before Bruno finds himself immersed in violence again. LIly Parr is on the run from the assassins who killed her father and tried to kill her. The only name she has is Bruno's, and she'll get answers any way she can.

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SPINE-TINGLING SUSPENSE
So much on offer this month for readers who like tension in their tales - and not just the romantic kind!
RUN THE RISK

GUARDIAN
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This is the duology of ripped bodies. Let's start with Lori Foster, as she kicks off her new Love Undercover series.

He goes deep undercover to find her - the missing piece of the puzzle in his best friend's unsolved murder. But she's more than he expects - and in much, much deeper trouble than even she knows.

She's been on the run for years, protecting herself from the man who wants her permanently silenced. No one is safe, especially  not the new neighbour who's awakening feelings that are best left buried.

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You've got abs to the left, and backs to the right. Catherine Mann brings us a new military themed romance this month.

His career is his life, and now he's on trial in a military court for both after a Dark Ops mission that goes very very wrong.

She's smart and capable, but working in the testosterone-fuelled military isn't easy. So she'll do her job as a JAG to the best of her ability, even if the man on trial commands her attention in a completely unprofessional way.

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DEEP BLUE

IN RIDES TROUBLE

DON'T CRY FOR ME
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Kat Martin joins her fellow suspense authors in the hot body cover contest this month - open shirt category.

Much as a trip to Paradise Island might seem like a dream assignment, Hope knows it's just a ploy to get her off a bigger story. But danger follows her south, but she's keeping good company: Former Navy SEAL Conner Reese.

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Deep Blue



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I'm not sure whether to be disappointed that this cover model is wearing a shirt or applaud their individuality of thought.

Julie Ann Walker introduces her Black Knights with a story of a woman who's used to playing with the boys, a munitions expert with no time for brash women, an unexpected hostage situation, and lots of sparks.

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In Rides Trouble


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Sharon Sala keeps it classy and focuses on some atmosphere in her cover this month.

Mariah comes back from Afghanistan wounded and alone - until Quinn shows up, her ex-lover, her brother-in-arms. He takes her away to recuperate and recover, but Mariah isn't used to relying on anyone else. And there's the sound of helicopters that she can't escape.

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Don't Cry For Me
CAPTIVATING CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Do sports figures make good heroes? Be the judge this month with two (!) sporting stories.
PLAYING TO WIN

PITCH PERFECT

WARM HEARTS
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Does anyone ever actually read what I write here when a Jaci Burton cover sits beside me? .... no, thought not!

He's a football player who always gets what he wants - but his work hard, play hard mantra is damaging his career. She's an image consultant much stronger than her Southern Belle image, who has just instituted a hands-off policy. But for how long?

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Playing to Win


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Luane McLean brings her patented southern small town charm to a new novel this month, set in her town of Cricket Creek.

Cricket Creek may be a sweet town, with its theatre, lovely shopping complexes, and good dining. But the tourists are drying up, until 3 hometown heroes come up with a hard-hitting plan: a baseball team.

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Pitch Perfect


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It's double the pleasure, double the fun with this Barbara Delinsky bind-up featuring two stories just perfect for shaking off the winter's chill.

Heat Wave features a woman who thinks she's reached boiling point- unti she meets her new neighbour. A Special Something sees a woman receive a very special birthday present.

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Warm Hearts

PULSE-POUNDING PARANORMAL ROMANCE
Lots of variety for paranormal fans this month - from steampunk to angels to dragons and space. Spoiled for choice!
ARCHANGEL'S STORM
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Nalini Singh continues her Archangel series this month in Guild Hunters series, book 5. And, really, you don't want to hear me talk about it. I'm just wasting your time. Time that could be spent reading the darned book!

Jason once clung to darkness, but in order to solve a devastating murder - and quell the rage of a powerful woman - he must step into the light. But earning the trust of Neha isn't going to be easy. Jason has to tie himself to her through the Princess Mahiya, another powerful woman who has no intention of trusting an archangel spy. But the only way to catch a killer is united, and soon it becomes clear that more than revenge ties them together.

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RAPTURE
THE CURSE
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It's all about sexy backs this month. (Don't believe me? Go check out the suspense titles) JR Ward joins the club in her latest Fallen Angels book.

Mels normally enjoys a good mystery, but she's revising her opinion after a near car accident brings her in contact with an amnesiac man whose past soon bleeds into the present - and puts them both square in the middle of a no-holds-barred, hell-bound war between the angels and demons.

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Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love continue their award-winning teamwork in the third book in the Belador Code series.

Evalie Kincaid is running out of time. She's made promises she can't keep, throwing the freedom of an entire race into risk. Her already complicated love life is  going downhill after she asks for help from a man who's tried to kill her in the past. And to top it all off, she's now target number one on a very deadly coven's list. With so many balls in the air, one of them is going to have to fall.  But which is Evalie ready to let go of?

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RIVETED
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I am addicted to this steampunk series from paranormal favourite Meljean Brook. If you haven't started it yet, do yourself a favour and go back to The Iron Duke - and enjoy having three books to read one right after the other. I've had to wait months!

After a devastating volcanic eruption, Iceland retreated behind the smoke to become an island enshrouded in mystery. The secret the land now keeps are a matter of life and death - and freedom. Annika nearly divulged those secrets, and her sister took the blame and was exiled for the crime. Desperate to find her sister, Annika seeks out her trail and fights for the right to return home. But home might not be there to return to for much longer, as a new threat - in the form of scientific expedition leader David Kentewess. As if Annika doesn't have enough to worry about.

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THE LOST NIGHT

HOW TO DRIVE A DRAGON CRAZY
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Visit the future with Jayne Ann Krentz as she kicks off another series set in and around her Harmony world.

Rachel's gift drains her, leaving her desperate for some peace and quiet. So she takes herself and her dust bunny off to Rainshadow Island and retreats from the world. But solitude eludes her as Harry arrives with questions and secrets of his own.

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If you like your paranormals on the light-hearted side, then you should definitely get in to GA Aiken's Dragon Kin series, which mix laughs with love in a big scaly package.

She thought he was out of her life forever, but he's not. Still, if he wants to go all alpha dragon and follow her on her dangerous quest into stupidly dangerous lands, who is she to stop him? It might be fun to watch him taken down a notch or two.

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How to Drive a Dragon Crazy

HERE COMES SANTA CLAUS
It may seem like early days, but Christmas is coming. These stories might be the best way to ease yourself into the spirit. You don't want to rush. Maybe try the short story anthology featuring Anne Gracie first?
AN OUTLAW'S CHRISTMAS

A FOOL'S GOLD CHRISTMAS

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Go west with Linda Lael Miller and a new  Christmas story in the McKettrick series.

Sawyer isn't ready to settle down to a ranching life, so he heads to Texas and a job as a marshall. Instead he gets lost in the middle of a snowstorm and lands in Piper's back room. Left to weather the storm out together, Piper soon discovers that though Sawyer may look like an outlaw, he might be the one thing she needs in her life.

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An Outlaw's Christmas

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Susan Mallery brings the spirit of the season to the inhabitants of her town of Fool's Gold.

Evie will admit - she's a bit bah-humbug about Christmas, especially this year when an injury has landed her back at her family home. Even being charged with the town's Winter Festival can't brighten her mood. Though maybe her brother's best friend, jaded lawyer Dante can. Though it will take a Christmas miracle to get these two Scrooges to take a risk.

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A Fool's Gold Christmas

MISCHIEF AND MISTLETOE
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Online, they're known as the Word Wenches. Offline you'll know them as some of the biggest names in Historical Romance. In this section, however, they're the authors of one of the first Christmas-themed anthologies of the year.

If you're looking for a new author or to rekindle a relationship with an author who may have fallen off your auto-buy list, anthologies are a great way to do so.

And it must be mentioned, our own beloved Anne Gracie is included in Mischief and Mistletoe with a Scottish-set story about mistaken identity, second chances at love, and the magic of Christmas.

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Archives
In This Issue

Kate's Month Ahead
Nine Naughties with...
Historicals
Erotic Romance
Romantic Suspense
Contemporaries
Paranormal Romance
Christmas Stories

SPRING IS IN THE AIR!

So there's the very probable possibility that you may get twitterpated. Just ask Bambi - look how that ended for him!

Best to get your pre-ordering done now, while you've still got the good sense to do so!

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Kim Harrison
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Keri Arthur
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Sara Bennett
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STOLEN
Shiloh Walker
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MY KIND OF CHRISTMAS
Robyn Carr
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ONE WRONG MOVE
Shannon McKenna
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WYOMING FIERCE

Diana Palmer

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Indigo Bloome
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Natasha Walker
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Reynard Sylvain
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Reynard Sylvain
Clearly the publishers have all caught spring fever. Just look at all the goodies available in September!


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Karen Marie Moning

Lori Wilde

Darynda Jones

Kresley Cole

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Sherry Thomas

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Julie Anne Long

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Jane Feather

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Karen Chance


Congratulations! The Booktopia Romance Buzz congratulates the winners of the RWA's Romantic Book of the Year awards!

Short Sweet
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Barbara Hannay


Short Sexy

Trish Morey


Long Romance

Fiona Lowe


Romantic Elements
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Helene Young


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