#BookBlitz “This is the Dream” by Owen Thomas

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Short Stories

 

Date Published: September 30, 2021

Publisher: ‎ OTF Literary

This is the Dream, ten stories less about dreaming than not dreaming. Ten stories about pulling free the gossamer mask of illusion and seeing the face of what has been true – about ourselves, about the people we choose to love, and about our path through the woods – from the very beginning.

JOHN. The bus driver whose lunchtime encounter with Andromeda reunites him with the one person he has spent a lifetime choosing to avoid. (Everything Stops).

WYATT. The Appalachian who wakes from a dream that his wife has been abducted by aliens to find that she has gone missing and wishing the explanation could be so benign. (Little Green Men).

RUTH. The chocolate-quality inspector whose compartmentalized solitude threatens complete suffocation until a renowned romance novelist reveals the paper-thin wall that separates despair and hope. (Paper Walls).

KATHY. The identical twin, so desperate to be original that she sacrifices her authenticity to a stranger on a plane, lying herself a new identity without any thought to the consequences. (Failure to Thrive – Act One: Flying and Lying).

KATJA and JUNE. The novelist and the reporter, bound by history, separated by an ocean, and united in a struggle to reconcile their own hearts one letter at a time. (Failure to Thrive – Act Two: Katja and June).

K.P. SORENSON. The convention speaker with a renewed hope of becoming a literary demiurge, looking for validation from an audience of would-be fans, but finding instead the very last man she expects and the only woman who can separate fact from fiction. (Failure to Thrive – Act Three: The Birds).

DANNY. The laid-off, newly separated factory worker whose life is in such dramatic contrast to that of his next-door neighbor, and George Clooney, that robbing a convenience store seems like his best option. (Hating George Clooney).

PETER. The teenager who, forced to spend Christmas in Hawaii with his younger sister, his parents, and the friends of his father not seen since college, discovers that reality is only a state of mind. (Island Santa).

ZOE. The Hollywood intern, working on a movie about a superhero with random powers, managing a telephone relationship with an anonymous criminal, and excavating the secret structure of creation. (Random Man).

CALI. The high school loner whose dreams of a dead classmate lead her to the razor’s edge between living and not living. (This is the Dream).

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#FREE “The Book Of Witness, Omnibus Edition: A Paranormal Mystery Collection (The Strange Air 1)” by Erick Mertz

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Some of these stories are true. Others, however, are not.

Deciding truth from fiction is up to you.

Open up a collection of strange, paranormal mysteries that will keep you up long into the night.

Canyon County, Oregon is a place unlike any other. For as long as people have lived amongst the creek beds, tree-covered hills and deep shadowy hollers they have encountered strange phenomenon.

The Book Of Witness is a treasure trove containing thirteen peculiar paranormal mystery stories. This book will introduce you to just a few Canyon County residents touched by its cold finger.

A God-fearing Christian with wild hallucinations.

An unrepentant conman who got into business with a frightening shape shifter.

The wounded Vietnam veteran who watched his friends mercifully released from their mortal pain.

A rural mail carrier who got a little too curious.

Though all of these people come from different eras and walks of life, they have one thing in common. Their lives have been touched by unexplainable encounters with the paranormal.

And they want to tell you about it.

What is out there? Nobody knows for sure.

According to legend, it is an evil as old as the mountains.

FREE at time of posting!

(check price before downloading)

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#BookTour #GuestPost “New York: Give Me Your Best or Your Worst” by Elizabeth Crowens

New York: Give Me Your Best or Your Worst BannerOctober 25 – November 19, 2021 Virtual Book Tour

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~ Guest Post ~

Get Thee to Poe Cottage—in the Bronx!

By Richie Narvaez

 

 Too many tourists traveling to New Yawk are drawn to the trite, teeming tackiness of Times Square, the Highline, or, ugh, the Vessel. But should they be lovers of literature and/or devotees of the dark, they would be better served to look north. There in the busy, bustling, brash Boogie Down Bronx—the borough politicians like to forget, the borough too many people think still burns like a coal-seam fire in PA (but does not!)—is the Edgar Allan Poe Cottage.

I highly recommend your checking out this quaint and curious landmark.

The great writer, inventor of the modern detective story (Western canon), Poe rented the cottage for $100 a year in 1846. He moved there with Virginia, his ailing wife, and his mother-in-law, Mrs. Clemm, in the hopes that the Bronx country air—that’s right, I said the “Bronx country air”—might cure Virginia’s tuberculosis. Sadly, she passed away in 1847.

Poe Cottage

The cottage, a white frame farmhouse built as a laborer’s dwelling, is modest. You enter into the kitchen (now also the gift shop), with its small table, hearth, and stove, and walk through the living room, pass a small bedroom, and up stairs to more small rooms. Only a few items of Poe’s original furniture are within—a mirror, a rocking chair, and the bed that Virginia died in. He wrote “Annabel Lee,” “Eureka,” “The Bells,” and “The Cask of Amontillado” in these rooms, and it doesn’t take much to imagine him sitting at the writing desk or pacing on the porch contemplating a rhyme. With the imposing artwork of Poe there, you might say the cottage remains “By good angels tenanted.”

The writer resided there until his death—in Baltimore, under mysterious circumstances—in 1849.

Poe Park sign

The house was originally located on Kingsbridge Road, but was moved—as if borne by wingèd seraphs (but actually rolled on logs)—less than a block away, and is now nestled in a park named for Poe. In 1962 the cottage was designated a landmark.

Poe and Ritchie

Nearby is a Visitors Center, its roof lines suggestive of a raven’s wings, a gallery/cultural programming space for visual, literary, and performance arts. I’ve been privileged to run writing workshops there, which ain’t easy, with the cottage looming in the background, and Poe’s spirit staring at me through the huge windows.

Take the D train to Kingsbridge Road, or the 4 train, or the BxM4 express bus from Manhattan. Entry is only five bucks for adults, three for students, kids, and seniors. (Note: The cottage is currently closed due to COVID restrictions.) Afterward, you can have some tasty comida criolla or go for Italian on Arthur Avenue.

For more on the cottage, go to: http://bronxhistoricalsociety.org/poe-cottage/.

Bio

A born-and-bred New Yorker, Richie Narvaez has several short pieces coming up in the photo anthology New York: Give Me Your Best or Your Worst, edited by Elizabeth Crowens. His most recent novel is the historical YA mystery Holly Hernandez and the Death of Disco, and his latest book is the anthology Noiryorican.

www.richienarvaez.com

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New York: Give Me Your Best or Your Worst

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Presented by: Elizabeth Crowens

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Synopsis:

 

An Anthology and Celebration of the Big Apple

I’m an unabashed, unapologetic lover of New York City, my hometown, and New York: Give Me Your Best or Your Worst is right up my dark, deserted alley. New York’s at its best when you sneak up on it, glance at its sideways, or let it glance sideways at you. The pros and photos in this collection all show New York’s best, even when they purport to be showing its worst; in NYC, that’s how we roll. A fine addition to your New York bookshelf, a collection to savor.
~ SJ Rozen, best-selling author of The Art of Violence

Book Details:

Genre: Coffee Table book of Photography with Short Stories

Published by: Atomic Alchemist Productions, LLC

Publication Date: Oct 25, 2021

Number of Pages: 150

ISBN: 1950384136, 9781950384136

Purchase Links: Amazon | BookBaby | The Mysterious Bookshop | Goodeareads

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Read the Intro:

It is daunting to be asked to say something about New York City that hasn’t already been said with more eloquence than I could muster. As with many of the writing gigs I’ve accepted without carefully considering the consequences, I suppose I would have been better off letting someone else tilt at this windmill. With all due respect to Don Quixote, here goes.

My initial inclination was to do something about how New York City, because of its geography, is fated to be a place of stark contradictions: of churning and yearning, of inclusion and exclusion, of acceptance and denial. Unlike other cities, New York cannot expand outwards, only upwards. While that sounds great and may make for glorious postcards of a majestic, everchanging skyline to send to the folks back home, it leaves out New York City’s most valuable commodity—its people.

I could have written about the unknown or unseen New York, the scores of little islands—some populated, some not—in Jamaica Bay, in the harbor, in the East River, in the Hudson. Places like Ruffle Bar. Ruffle Bar? Google it. Places once home to psychiatric and typhoid quarantine hospitals. Buildings abandoned or demolished. Islands whose only residents are the dead buried there and forgotten. Interesting, certainly, but again it would have left out the thing that makes New York City what it is.

As a crime fiction author who sets much of his work in New York—largely in Brooklyn and Manhattan—I have done countless panels and interviews about the city. My friend and award-winning colleague, Peter Spiegelman, says that setting is the soil in which you grow your characters. He is so right. Ask any author worth his, her, or their salt, and they will tell you that a book that can be set anywhere isn’t much of a book at all. A book must be of its place. So too must a person.

New York City isn’t one place. It is a thousand places, ten thousand places. And because it is all those places, its people are different neighborhood to neighborhood, sometimes street to street. Certainly, house to house, apartment to apartment. Do we shape the place or does the place shape us? Instead of doing an overview, a sort of general discussion of this question, I think it better to talk about one place—Coney Island—and how it shaped one person—me.

I grew up in the shadow of Coney Island Hospital, about a mile or so away from the amusement park. I was right on the border of Brighton Beach, Gravesend, Sheepshead Bay, and Coney Island. I could explain how each of these neighborhoods differ, how, for instance, Sheepshead Bay is, for all intents and purposes, a fishing village. But no, not here, not now. At one point in my life or other, I have claimed to be from all these places. Yet it is Coney Island that resonates.

When I was four, my dad—a bitter, blustery, and angry man—was diagnosed with an aggressive bone sarcoma which he battled to a standstill for thirty plus more years. After his initial round of surgery and treatment, he was instructed to not do any activities that might jar or adversely affect his leg. Yet on summer Sundays, he would tell my mom that he was taking me for a car ride. We took car rides, alright, straight into Coney Island.

He would put me on the kiddy rides, take me to Nathan’s Famous, buy me pistachio soft serve. Then, in one of the few acts of true defiance I ever saw from him, he would get on the carousel and grab for the brass rings. On one of these Sundays, he pointed to the Parachute Jump. The “Jump” rose into the air two hundred and sixty feet. All orange steel, it looked like a cross between the Eiffel Tower and the skeleton of a giant umbrella.

“When that ride opened up,” he said, “my best pal Charlie and me got on it. The parachute dropped a few feet and then … nothing. We were stuck up there for forty-five minutes just hanging in the air. It was great.”

Of course, by then, the Parachute Jump, once part of Steeplechase Park, had been closed for years, its parachutes and rigging long gone. That day, those days, have stayed with me ever since. And when, as a teenager, I would go back to Coney Island with my friends, get high and ride the Cyclone, I would always look up at the Parachute Jump. It came to symbolize my dad to me. Mighty, impressive, but abandoned, and powerless. I loved my dad because I could see past his bluster. He let me see past it. All because of those few Sundays in Coney Island.

As if by osmosis, Coney Island began imposing itself in my work. My series character, Moe Prager, worked in the Six-O precinct in Coney Island. Scene after scene in the nine Moe books take place there. Even twenty-plus books later, in my new series, I cannot escape the gravity of Coney Island. It calls to me in a way I cannot explain other than to say it is romance in the way the Romantic poets understood it.

In my Edgar Award–nominated short story “The Terminal,” I wrote this:

“…He liked how Coney Island displayed its decay as a badge of honor. It didn’t try to hide the scars where pieces of its once-glorious self had been cut off. Stillwell Avenue west was like a showroom of abandonment, the empty buildings wearing their disuse like bankrupted nobility in frayed and fancy suits. He had come to the edge of the sea with the other last dinosaurs: the looming and impotent Parachute Jump, the Wonder Wheel, Nathan’s, the Cyclone.”

I could never have written those words in that way had I grown up in Washington Heights or Rego Park. New York City poets and writers are shaped by their families, yes, but shaped as much by where as by who. That is the magic of New York. This book will shine a light on the rest of that magic. By the way, my children and I have slightly different tattoos of the Parachute Jump: My son and I on our forearms; my daughter on her triceps. In those tats my dad and the Coney Island that was will live on.

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Introduction from New York: Give Me Your Best or Your Worst by Reed Farrel Coleman. Copyright 2021 by Elizabeth Crowens. Reproduced with permission from Elizabeth Crowens. All rights reserved.

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About New York: Give Me Your Best or Your Worst:

Elizabeth Crowens with Author photo with Reed Farrel Coleman

Writer and photographer, Elizabeth Crowens is one of 500 New York City-based artists to receive funding through the City Artist Corps Grants program, presented by The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA), with support from the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) as well as Queens Theatre.

She was recognized for New York: Give Me Your Best or Your Worst, her photo-illustrated anthology, which brought her published book along with ten other authors to Mysterious Bookshop in Lower Manhattan at 58 Warren Street on Monday, October 25, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. for an in-store event and author signing along with a simultaneous Facebook Live presentation and recording for Jim Freund’s WBAI program Hour of the Wolf.

Author contributors include:

  • Reed Farrel Coleman, New York Times bestselling author of over 31 award-winning mystery and thriller novels, including the Jesse Stone series for the estate of Robert B. Parker. Called a hard-boiled poet by NPR’s Maureen Corrigan.
  • Charles Salzberg, former magazine journalist, crime novelist of the Shamus Award-nominated Henry Swann series, founding member of the New York Writers Workshop.
  • Tom Straw, Emmy and WGA-nominated writer-producer, credits include Nurse Jackie, Night Court, Grace Under Fire, Whoopie, and the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Crime novelist under the pen name of Richard Castle.
  • Randee Dawn, Entertainment journalist for Today.com, Variety, and the Los Angeles Times. Co-editor of Across the Universe: Tales of Alternative Beatles and The Law & Order: SUV Companion, and speculative fiction writer of the upcoming Tune in Tomorrow.
  • Barbara Krasnoff, Reviews Editor at The Verge, over 45 published short stories, Nebula Award finalist, author of the “mosaic” novel The History of Soul 2065.
  • Steven Van Patten, TV stage manager by day, horror writer by night. Co-host of the Beef, Wine and Shenanigans podcast, winner of several African American Literary Awards.
  • Triss Stein writes mysteries that all take place in Brooklyn.
  • Marco Conelli, former NYPD detective, consultant to Mary Higgins Clark, and Silver Falchion award-winner for young adult mysteries and the police procedural Cry For Help, taking place in The Bronx.
  • R.J. Koreto, historical mystery writer focusing on New York during the Gilded Age.
  • Richie Narvaez, award-winning mystery author of Hipster Death Rattle, Holly Hernandez and the Death of Disco, and Noiryorican.
  • Elizabeth Crowens, over 25 years in the entertainment industry, member of the International Cinematographers Guild as a Still Photographer (Imdb.com credited: Sheri Lane), award-winning writer of novels in the Hollywood mystery and alternate history genres. Recipient of the Leo B. Burstein Scholarship by the NY Chapter of Mystery Writers of America. Editor and photographer for New York: Give Me Your Best or Your Worst based on her Facebook Caption Contests. elizabethcrowens.com, @Ecrowens on Twitter, and Elizabeth Crowens on Facebook!

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Tour Participants:

Visit the stops on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, and guest posts from our hosts and authors!

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Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

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#BookSale “Night Shift” by Stephen King

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Stephen King’s first collection of short stories showcases the darkest depths of his brilliant imagination and will “chill the cockles of many a heart” (Chicago Tribune). Featuring “Jerusalem’s Lot,” the basis for the upcoming tv series Chapelwaite.

Here we see mutated rats gone bad (“Graveyard Shift”); a cataclysmic virus that threatens humanity (“Night Surf,” the basis for The Stand); a possessed, evil lawnmower (“The Lawnmower Man”); unsettling children from the heartland (“Children of the Corn”); a smoker who will try anything to stop (“Quitters, Inc.”); a reclusive alcoholic who begins a gruesome transformation (“Gray Matter”); and many more shadows and visions that will haunt you long after the last page is turned.

1.99 at all online digital retailers for a limited time!

Amazon

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#Featured “Georgia Lights (Fabled Love)” by L.S Bergman

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For up-and-coming modiste, Georgia Ellis, past experience with men has left her clear on one thing.

She hasn’t got time for that mess.

Having loved hard and left burned by betrayal; Georgia’s road hasn’t been easy.
But life is short and her flourishing millinery boutique in the heart of London has been a way out, a source of joy. A situation she thinks she’s cool with.

That is until, a mystery man walks into her shop stirring all manner of trouble and a tidal wave of emotion.

A flicker of hope. A flash of recognition.
A reminder of a deep love Georgia still longs to forget?

Georgia is about to learn sometimes the spark of the new gets revealed in the debris of the old.

Georgia Lights has romantic elements but is not a traditional romance. This story is a departure for me, in a shorts series which is playing on a fable theme (Book 1 Before U Go). Georgia Lights is the second short story about mixed heritage/identity, entrepreneurship, friendship, betrayal, family history, a Caribbean cultural geography and of course … love. These short stories can be read in any order.

And, dear reader, please be warned:
This is an ADULT +18 short story and series – containing explicit language, adult themes and sexual content.

99c at time of posting!

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#BookBlitz “Everybody Has a Story… These Are Ours…” by Audrey N. Lewis

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Fiction/Short Stories

 

Date Published: May 23, 2015

Publisher: Pressing On Press, Inc

 

 

This amazing collection pulls together seven independent stories, weaving them into a compelling, thought-provoking collection. Family relationships and friendships. Finding out place. This series of narratives explores events, experiences and memories. While focusing on the women (mother, sister, daughter and wife) — the men in the stories (father, brother, son and husband) provide intriguing counterpoints.

Lexi’s mom struggles to understand her daughter. Abigail, now grown, remembers her nanny Chamele and the life lessons she shared. Claire, the empty-nester and her “girls night out” group has an unusual twist. Then Megan – lost but not forgotten. In each story, you will find, nothing is exactly as it seems.

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About the Author

 

Audrey N. Lewis is the award winning author of Everybody has a story… These are ours…, a collection of seven short stories. Additionally, she has had several short stories and poems published in Short Story Town, Weird Mask Magazine, Evolving, and Cephalopress, Active Muse and Dissident Voice.

She is a mother, friend, daughter, wife. She is a dreamer who has climbed mountains, camped out on billboards in Times Square, and spent 23 years volunteering as the founder and executive director of a not-for-profit. She creates fairy houses and dream catchers. She weaves stories that address everyday life events in not-so-typical ways, making readers question, “what if.” She is the square in a box of circles. A rule-breaker, a risk-taker, and a giver.

 

Contact Links

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Blog

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Purchase Links

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#Featured “Foxy Heist: A Lucky Break Novel (Claimed By Three Book 6)” by Zelda Knight

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A Foxy Heist

Two Magical Realms

Three Feisty Shifters


Interdimensional jewel thief Sarah Lee Ho—better known as Bijoux—slips effortlessly between the human and paranormal realms. She captures divine precious stones in exchange for mortal luxuries. But one fateful night, under a parallel full moon, everything goes wrong. Now trapped on the other side, she finds herself the object of desire of three feisty immortal shifters and ex-lovers—Kim Min-joon, Bo Chang, and Toshiyuki. They agree to exchange information for a steep price: her hand in eternal marriage to three cunning fox gods.

Foxy Heist (A Lucky Break Novel) is a paranormal reverse harem MFMM shifter romance, the sixth book in the Claimed By Three multi-author series containing a HEA (Happily Ever After) without a cliffhanger ending.

Kindle Unlimited

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#BookSale “Not So Stories” by Various Authors

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Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories was one of the first true children’s books in the English language, a timeless classic that continues to delight readers to this day. Beautiful, evocative and playful, the stories of How the Whale Got His Throat or How the First Letter Was Written paint a world of magic and wonder.

It’s also deeply rooted in British colonialism. Kipling saw the Empire as a benign, civilising force, in a way that’s troubling to modern readers. Not So Stories attempts to redress the balance, bringing together new and established writers of colour from around the world to take the Just So Stories back, to interrogate, challenge and celebrate their legacy.

Including stories by Adiwijaya Iskandar, Joseph E. Cole, Raymond Gates, Stewart Hotston, Zina Hutton, Georgina Kamsika, Cassandra Khaw, Paul Krueger, Tauriq Moosa, Jeannette Ng, Ali Nouraei, Wayne Santos and Zedeck Siew, illustrations by Woodrow Phoenix and an introduction by Nikesh Shukla.

99c at time of posting at all online retailers!

Amazon

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#BookSale “The World Doesn’t Require You: Stories” by Rion Amilcar Scott

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Finalist • PEN / Jean Stein Book Award

Longlisted • Aspen Words Literary Prize

Best Books of the Year: Washington Post, NPR, Buzzfeed and Entropy

Best Short Story Collections of the Year: Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, the New York Public Library, and Electric Literature

Welcome to Cross River, Maryland, where Rion Amilcar Scott creates a mythical universe peopled by some of the most memorable characters in contemporary American fiction.
 
Set in the mythical Cross River, Maryland, The World Doesn’t Require You heralds “a major unique literary talent” (Entertainment Weekly). Established by the leaders of America’s only successful slave revolt in the mid-nineteenth century, the town still evokes the rhythms of its founding. With lyrical prose and singular dialect, Rion Amilcar Scott pens a saga that echoes the fables carried down for generations—like the screecher birds who swoop down for their periodic sacrifice, and the water women who lure men to wet death.

 

Among its residents—wildly spanning decades, perspectives, and species—are David Sherman, a struggling musician who just happens to be God’s last son; Tyrone, a ruthless, yet charismatic Ph.D. candidate, whose dissertation about a childhood game ignites mayhem in the neighboring, once-segregated town of Port Yooga; and Jim, an all-too-obedient robot who obeys his Master. Culminating with an explosive novella, The World Doesn’t Require You is a “leap into a blazing new level of brilliance” (Lauren Groff) that affirms Rion Amilcar Scott as a writer whose storytelling gifts the world very much requires.

 

Amazon

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