Sunday, November 29, 2015

Stormling: John Hennessy



About the Author:


John Hennessy is a British author of paranormal fantasy horror for YA, psychological horror and murder mysteries, plus his own unique take on vampire lore. He has also written ghost stories and delved into high epic fantasy with a hint of romance. A kung fu addict; he teaches martial arts full-time but writes at all other times, working on four series:- Dark Winter, Haunted Minds, Stormling and A Tale of Vampires.


Blurb:

In an age when Stormlings have only known peacetime, one man's desperate action threatens not only the stability of the mystical world of Mordana, but Earth as well. 

Teenager Ophelia Drewe discovers a jewel that has been lost from its homeworld, and whilst she thinks she can keep it, demonic forces believe otherwise. 

She’s not alone, but who can she trust? The head Stormling, Anadyr, hasn’t been to the Earth in 500 years, but go there he must – if the jewel is not returned, it will destroy both Ophelia’s world and his own… 

* * * 
A Lost Jewel. A World in Chaos. An Epic Fantasy Adventure like no other. 

When a jewel is lost from the mystical realm of Mordana, and found on Earth, so begins a race against time to ensure the safe return of the jewel to its rightful place. 

With news that the jewel has now been located, two warring factions fight for the control of Mordana. Anadyr, the strongest and bravest of the Stormlings, is sent on a quest to retrieve the jewel, as the survival of his race depends on it, but he finds there are some on Earth that are out to stop him as well. 

On Earth, teenager Ophelia Drewe discovers the jewel. Anadyr needs to win her trust, but the task is made more difficult as Ophelia finds herself in conflict with dark mages, sorceresses, elves, demons, giant-folk, and more. 

However....Evil stirs East of Mordana, with the minions of Andus Rey also working together to release The Fourth – the entity who was a good Stormling at one time, but has since turned to darkness. 

Even if Anadyr helps to restore order to Mordana, his quest will not be truly complete until he announces his successor from a group of trusted, but untested Stormlings. 

The evil in Mordana knows this too, and is just waiting for the right moment to strike, to set in motion a new and terrifying age of darkness...

My review:

Stormling is book one of the series, the Mordana Chronicles. From the page one, the author takes you to the magical land of Mordana, a realm of magic. The land where there is peace during the rule of Stormlord Anadyr, an immortal who has been at the helm of power from the time he was eighteen years old. Now he is over three thousand years old and is facing troubled times. The threat from AnnanGhorst is looming near. The powerful  Aynara, the half-breed who protects Mordana has lost a jewel from her magical necklace which if ended up in the wrong hands will spell doom to Mordana.

The author introduces the main characters one by one and through these character introductions we are given a tour of the mystical land of Mordana, the enemies that have been threatening the peace of their land and also the stromlings who are immortals. The real world, our earth, comes into picture when Ophelia a teenager living on earth is introduced. Ophelia, a carefree teenager finds the lost jewel and now has the responsibility of returning the jewel to Aynara. Her committed group friends: Melody, Siobhan and Michael, is by her side in this mission. But their biggest enemy Mindy, their schoolmate, turns up on the wrong side and hinders their mission.

Will Ophelia succeed in the mission?

Will Anadyr win over the dark beings that threaten his land?

Will Aynara, who is half stormling and half Andurii, help Anadyr when darkness threatens to annihilate earth and Mordana?

I won’t tell you that. You have to read the book to know. 
The book is a tome, with 495 pages of absolute fantasy. I admire the skill of the author for keeping the pace of the narration uniform and interesting in such a long book. The many side stories during the character introductions are interesting as well. Then there is the romance between the beautiful sorceress Corianna and Anadyr.

The whole book is like watching a fantasy movie where magical creatures like elves, stormlings, Andurii, witches, sorcerers and Shadow wraiths runs the show. This book I hear is the lone book written by John Hennessy which doesn’t have horror/ violence that would give you nightmares, the reason why I picked the book. Yes, it is not dark. It comes in the category of fantasy like the harry potter series, the hobbit and the lord of rings. It is definitely a book which can be made into a movie. Hope one day I will get to watch the Stormling as a movie!

The Cover of the book is very beautiful. So is the book.

Highly recommended if you like reading fantasy that borders with horror.

That is all for now.
Until next post,

Much love,




Thursday, November 26, 2015

Grab my best-selling book from Kindle for free



Grab my Amazon best-selling romance novel 'Without You' for free from kindle today.
Do spread the word folks!
Get the book here:
Amazon India: http://amzn.to/1VTvsQ3
It will be free till tomorrow 2 PM (IST)

Synopsis:
When Ananya, a bubbly twenty-year-old engineering student, reaches her Grandmother's house in Sreepuram on a month long vacation, romance is the last thing on her mind. However, she meets Dr. Arjun there and falls head over heels in love. 

As it often happens, the path of true love never runs smooth. Circumstances force them apart even though they were madly in love. She becomes a victim of depression. When everything fails to return her to normalcy, help arrives from an unexpected source. Will she ever find happiness again? Will time allow her heart to heal and forget Arjun? What indeed is true love? What is that strange secret that locks all the circumstances together? 

Travel with Ananya to the picturesque Sreepuram, face the chaos of Bengaluru, and relish the warmth of magical Dubai in this heartwarming tale of love, betrayal, friendship, and miracles. 

Meet the main Characters in order of appearance: 
Ananya: A bubbly twenty-year-old engineering student— the narrator of the story. 
Ammamma: Ananya’s Grandma, Arundhati Mukundan, an author by profession, who loves playing Cupid. 
Dr. Arjun: The dashing doctor who is the heir to a multi Billion super market chain ‘Shine’. 
Colonel R.S Nair: A helpful neighbor whose charming talks always influences Ananya. 
Dr. Vishal: Ananya’s cousin and Arjun’s best friend. 
Shakuntala Devi: Arjun’s mom, the current head of the ‘Shine’ empire. 
Shankar & Sukanya: Ananya’s parents. 
Khushi and Poornima: Ananya’s best friends in college. 
Kishore: Ananya’s cousin who lives in the United Arab Emirates. 
Shreya and Aditya: Kishore’s wife and son. 
Lily: The cute Filipina girl who is Ananya’s colleague and best friend. 
Tom: The handsome and funny colleague who is the heartthrob in the firm Ananya works. 
Sophia: Ananya’s flat mate and friend who is an expert on Zodiac signs. 



Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Newbie Corner: Ashutosh Bhandari

Today on Newbie Corner we have blogger and author Ashutosh Bhandari, whose first book talks about aliens!

Welcome to Newbie Corner Ashutosh!


Follow him on        Blogger       Facebook      Twitter



Tell us a little about yourself. How did you begin writing?

I'm a Chennai-based guy with a round routine of College - Home, 5 days a week. Whatever my résumé says I'm not 'active' or 'focused person' but I eat and sleep every chance I get.
Writing began as an activity out of interest after my schooling seeing that I had a certain pull towards literature. And after getting a few good feedbacks I decided to do it on a regular basis.

What is your favorite genre in writing?

 Fairies, Gnomes, Elves in childhood and Wizards, Aliens, Centaurs and Orcs in my schooling days made it evident that Fantasy and Science Fiction was my thing. Non-humans, speaking strange languages and living in weird places was something that made fantasy a lot more interesting and real than reality.

Who inspires you most and to whom would you dedicate your creative growth?

Those people I read and hear about every week on social media, the people who write great books at the same age I try to come out of my '5 pointer' status in my college are the people who prevent me from procrastinating. They are my inspiration!
In the initial steps I would dedicate my creative growth to every person who gave honest feedbacks, criticism and suggestions about my writing. But for the big leap I would thank my friends from my team 'By Lines' for their immense support and help in my way to become an author.

What kind of a writer are you? Do you plot the entire novel/story or make it up as you write.

Not sure, 'Unpredictable' might be the word because I remember surprising myself at times. 
The only published story, "The Awakening" was a pre-planned one, but for my next project I have only made up the opening and will be going with the flow. I might end up surprising myself again.

Do you have a favorite place to write or a scheduled time to write every day?

Unlike many people who can write anytime and anywhere, I have a restricted bubble. Midnight is the most suitable time and in the confinement of my bedroom is were thoughts come to me.

Who are your favorite authors and what is the genre that you like reading most?

It is extremely hard to name just one. J.K.Rowling, Dan Brown, J.R.R.Tolkien, Amish Tripathi, Agatha Christie, Mark Twain, Suzzane Collins the list is very very long! 
And likewise there is no single genre I can mention. Fantasy, Sci-Fi, crime, thrillers, murder mysteries, mythology are a few genres I would never say no to.

Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?

Having a job I'm actually comfortable with, striking the last book title in my 'To Read' list, finally deciding who my favorite super hero is and planning the release of my next big thriller! (Yea, I might've written a couple already)


Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

Of the selected few I've read there were only a couple of 'Romance' novels I would actually rate 5/5. If there is a subject I would never write about is 'Love'. There is not much flexibility and it lacks the suspense and gore which generally I look forward into as a reader. And yes, I also don't get those cheesy lines.

How much important do you think marketing is for the success of a book?

Unless you are Mr.Tolkien Jr. Or Rowling Jr., marketing is very much needed for a book if it’s your first. It helps in the basic step every writer dreams of, announcing your arrival at the crease! It is essential if you're looking for commercial success or even if you want your book to be read, loved and recognized.

What is the message that you want to convey to the readers through your writing?

In the first book, "Six Degrees" the clear message given out by the team in our story, "The Awakening" is, "No matter how grey, evil, and cruel you are, you will be easily be defeated by peace, bravery and will.

Wonderful Ashutosh, it was fun knowing more about you!

Thank you, Preethi!

So folks, pick up his book. I personally can vouch that it is 'unputdownable' from the very first page as I am also a part of it.

Buy it from here:

Amazon.in
That is all folks....

Until next post,
Much love,

Sunday, November 22, 2015

On Writing: Sid Balachandran

Today on 'On Writing', we have the award-winning blogger and writer, Sid Balachandran, who is also daddy dearest to a three-year-old.

Academically an engineer, Sid recently swapped his decade-long professional career to be a work-from-home Dad. When not running after his three-year-old son, he writes about fatherhood, parenting in general, social satire, humour and fiction. He is also working on his first full-length novel, which he hopes will see the light of day this year if he gets his son’s blessings to finish writing. You can find him often brewing his thoughts at iwrotethose.com.

Welcome to ‘On Writing’ Sid.


FOLLOW HIM: BLOG    
 FACEBOOK    TWITTER    GOOGLE PLUS
                                                                  
Your blog ‘I wrote those’ was awarded the best personal blog for 2015 in the WIN BlogAdda blogging awards. Tell us how your journey as a writer began.

I’d never actually considered writing as a full-time career. Back when I was in school, I would write these tiny little stories and scribble fan-fiction version of books that I used to read – like Famous Five series or Hardy Boys type ones – but nothing mainstream. In fact, I’ve never even thought about getting published.  And then as I got caught up in studies, degrees and career, writing took a back seat and I almost forgot about it; until 2013, when I started my blog and started to write again.

It originally started as a couple of blog posts – some to do with fatherhood and parenting along with some tiny humor pieces and short stories.  Fortunately for me, they all took off. One thing led to another and here I am. And if I’m honest, now I don’t think I can go back to any other career apart from writing.

Your ‘Daddy Journals’ are a pleasure to read. Have you thought about compiling them in the form of a book?

Thank you for that compliment. I suppose the USP for Daddy Journals is the fact that there aren’t many fathers who have the luxury of spending as much time as I get to, with their kids. As for compiling them into a book, I am currently working on a non-fiction book along the lines of Daddy Journals; It’ll be a few humorous anecdotes and instances from the life of a SAHD.

Do you plot your stories or write it the way the story takes you?

It’s a little bit of both actually. I reckon there are both plotters and pantsers in all of us. I normally have a rough idea about the story and what I want to achieve with it when I start to write. Often, I end up with two or three different endings, and depending on the theme I want to stick to or the emotions/feelings I want to evoke in the reader, I choose an ending that suits. I prefer to be fluid with my stories and adapt as I write.

Which one is your most popular blog post till date and what do you think makes it so loved by the readers?

I predominantly write under three categories – humour, parenting, and fiction. There are a few from each category that has sort of hit the mark with my readers.
For example in humour and satire, my trust with low waist jeans was quite popular:  http://www.iwrotethose.com/2014/03/21/fashionista-i-think-not/
My parenting article about ‘co-sleeping with kids’ was also widely shared. http://www.huffingtonpost.in/sidharth-balachandran/sleeping-with-the-enemy_2_b_7262674.html
In fiction, one of my most popular stories has been this: http://www.iwrotethose.com/2015/07/22/the-house-on-the-sea/

You have contributed to the anthology by Indireads after being a winner in a short story contest and have also won the Tatalitlive flash fiction contest. You have won many blogging contests as well.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have won a few blogging and writing competitions. While it is always great to have that recognition, I’ve come to realise that winning these aren’t necessarily about just writing good stories or posts. Yes, it’s important and we’d all like to have a few wins under our writing belts, so to speak. But as I read more entries for these contests, I’m starting to realise how much our bloggers and writers overlook the fact about how a post or story connects with the reader. Your post or story should be something that the readers can relate to and if it’s fiction, your readers should be able to visualize it too. And that’s true victory as a writer.

Parenting is the toughest job in the world. As a stay-at-home-dad, how do you find time to churn out stories and blog as well?

It’s all about being organised and knowing when to switch off and then switch back on. I understand that it’s not always possible, but if you can make a schedule and stick to it as much as you can, then it definitely helps. Of course, life and little kids get in the way, but as long as you can stick to your plan as much as possible, it’ll help. Again, everyone is different. Like, as much as it pains me to say it, things like NaNoWrimo don’t work for me – I’m more a writer 10k words in a day and then may not write anything else for 3 days kind of person.

Among the stories that you have written, is there any one particular story that is close to your heart?

Since my blog started in October 2013, I’ve written over 130 short stories there. While they’re all special to me, perhaps the closest one to my heart is a novella that I’d written called ‘Harry’s Hut’. It’s no longer on the blog, as I’ve decided to rework it and release it as an eBook, but it will always be my first ‘baby’ when it comes to my stories.

Amongst the ones that are on the blog presently, one of my favorite ones remains:  http://www.iwrotethose.com/2014/05/29/at-the-stroke-of-midnight/

I have read two of your novellas and quite liked them. What else is in the offing for your readers?

Thank you, Preethi. It’s always a good feeling to hear that readers and other writers enjoy pieces that we write. I’m working on a few things at the moment – a couple of novellas which I’ll be releasing as eBooks. There’s always a full-fledged fiction book too and the ‘Daddy Journals’ books that I mentioned earlier. Also, I love writing short stories – so I’m also working on a collection of stories written for a set of different themes.

If you could choose any place on earth to be born as a famous person, which person and place would you choose? You can choose any time period in history.

Can I not just be reborn as me? I love my life :)
Jokes aside, I’m not sure.  I guess, I’d love to be reborn as someone like Ruskin Bond, who remains one of my favorite authors. Or maybe even as Wodehouse, because I love reading witty stories. If not a writer, I guess, with my penchant for technology, I’d probably be ok to being reborn as someone like Steve Jobs.

What are the three tips you have for readers of this interview who are aspiring writers?

·         Don’t think of writing like a job. Think of it as an art and you as an artist. What you write is essentially part of your identity, and like any artist worth his or her salt, you should be ready to put in your sweat, blood and time into it.
·         Be open to feedback and criticism. There are no perfect writers. Every writer, bestseller or aspiring, can always improve. Because when you refuse to accept feedback or criticism, you’re barricading yourself in and refusing to grow. And that’s never a good thing for a writer.
·         Find a niche. Not every writer can write effortlessly about every topic or theme. Especially when it comes to something like fiction, find your niche – if you’re good in writing romance and the feedback from honest critics has been positive, then stick to it. Forget whether it sells or not. You’d best be known for one thing than just disappear as a jack/jill-of-all-trades-kind of writer. Also, always pay attention to what you write. While you may be writing for yourself, you are also writing for the audience who want to read you. So you need to find a fine balance between giving the readers what they want, yet delivering it in your own style.

Thank you, Sid. Wishing you all success in all your future endeavors. 

Thank you! 

That is all folks....

Until next post,
Much love,

Friday, November 20, 2015

Newbie Corner: J Alchem

Today on Newbie Corner, we have J Alchem, the very successful, prize-winning and talented story teller.

Welcome to Newbie Corner, J Alchem!

FOLLOW HIM: STORYMIRROR    FACEBOOK


Tell us a little about yourself. How did you begin writing?

I am a storyteller; it is the only most important thing that defines me.
In terms of qualifications, I have done MBA in Finance and International Business. Since the beginning, I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I do not know how, but the writing bug bit me 5 years ago and left me bleeding on paper.
I have written in several magazines and newspapers and received the appreciation for the same. I am a winner of Story Mirror Season-1 and Superhero storyteller Award. I have co-authored more than 4 books including Love bytes, the second life, Catalogue – A menu of memories, and mighty thoughts. My next solo book, “A road not traveled’ is gonna hit the market before the end of this year.

What is your favorite genre in writing?

I mostly prefer to write motivational stories. Although, I am not restricted to any specific genre. I have written on love, humor, suspense, thrill, and on social issues as well. I do believe in writing something out of the box.

Who inspires you most and to whom would you dedicate your creative growth?

Anything that makes me emotional inspires me to write. Be it a movie, or a struggle story of someone. The best thing is that I get inspired easily. When I see an old man carrying something heavy on his head over the busy street, I get inspired. When I see a beggar asking alms and then offering the same to another beggar who is not capable to even ask, I get inspired. I would dedicate my creative growth to these same people.

What kind of a writer are you? Do you plot the entire novel/story or make it up as you write?

I do not plot my novel in a single go. I just start with an idea. When I proceed to pen down that idea, ink flows on its own and an entirely different picture comes in existence, a  picture that I did not imagine at first when I set down to write.  All of my stories are end-products of such flows.

Do you have a favorite place to write or a scheduled time to write every day?
I do not have any favorite place or schedule time to write. However, I mostly prefer writing when all people are asleep. I need complete silence so I can imagine and meet my characters and become a part of their fictional life before portraying them in my books. Though, it is not necessary that I need a secluded place to find silence, I can feel lonely even in a crowd. That’s the most amazing gift I got from God after creativity.

Who are your favorite authors and what is the genre that you like reading most?
It is really hard to name few favorite authors because there are so many. Still, I love to read Paulo Coelho, Nicholas sparks, Khaleed Hosseini, Oscar Wilde, and Emily Bronte. I read their work. I re-read their work. I re-re-read their work.

Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
That’s the most amazing, but a typical question. It is amazing because it gives me goose bumps when I think about future and typical because I do not know how to answer it.
I do leave it on my readers, wherever they want me to be, I will be. I can only promise to give the best of mine to them.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

There is no such subject. As an author, I would love to explore each and every subject and genre. But yeah, I am little weak in history, so in case, I do sit to write a book based on historical facts, then I will be needing lots of research for sure.

How much important do you think marketing is for the success of a book?

Hell, important. Marketing is what makes a book reach to maximum readers. If good marketing is there, a book is sure to succeed no matter what content that book holds. I see many average books being bestsellers just because of marketing and many beautiful books not doing so well just because of lack of marketing.

What is the message that you want to convey to the readers through your writing?
Stop chasing people. If they are not with you, they do not deserve you. So, work on creating yourself.

Thank you, J Alchem. It was very interesting. Wishing you the very best for your future endeavors.

Thank You!


Buy his books, folks!


Buy Blank Space, an anthology with 100 inspirational short stories by 100 writers from the  Propel Steps Online Store ( delivery time within India 1 week) or from  Amazon.in (Fulfilled by Amazon + Additional postal charges, delivers in 1-4 days)

Amazon.in


Until next post,
Much love,


Sunday, November 15, 2015

On Writing: Vani and Recession Groom

Vani is a former business journalist turned fiction writer. As a child, she loved listening to stories until she grew up and started writing her own. Her first book, ‘The Recession Groom’ is out now and she currently spends her time reading fiction and working on her second novel. She also writes blogs and columns for ‘The Huffington Post’ and ‘DailyO’. 
Welcome to ‘On Writing’ Vani Kaushal

Thanks, Preethi.

Your debut novel “The Recession Groom” went into reprint mere weeks after it was published. What do you think makes it so popular?

I chose a contemporary theme and combined it with arranged marriages, a concept that has always piqued the curiosity of readers. While other novelists present a hard-hitting satire on our society thus commanding a more mature readership; my novel was a light-hearted take on the Indian family value system and I made every attempt to engage readers from multiple cultural backgrounds and social milieus. The novel was also positively reviewed by top newspapers of the country which I think helped its sales.

You opted to become a writer ditching lucrative day jobs though you have a management degree from Kingston University in London. Why? Do you regret your decision?

Writing is my passion and nothing gives me more pleasure than working on my stories. It was hard for me to leave the comfort of a full-time job, but I’d rather spend my life doing what I love than counting days from Monday to Saturday. No, I don’t regret my decision.
  
What kind of a writer are you? Do you plot the entire story or write it the way the story takes you?

I like to prepare a rough plot line. It gives me an idea about the research I need to do, the characters I need to build, and the method of narration that would work best. Maybe when I am a few books old, I’d be able to write my stories without plotting them.

You have toured all over India to meet the readers of your books through book launches. Which launch is memorable among all?

I travelled to nine cities for launching my book and most of these were new for me. I was really scared about going to Kolkata; it has such a thriving community of readers and writers, I wasn’t sure I’d be accepted there. To my surprise, I had three wonderful events in that city, including a very successful event at IIM Kolkata, and I made amazing friends. Most of them have been asking me to visit the city again during Durga Puja.
For that matter, I loved Trivandrum, Kochi, Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai and Surat and met some of the most wonderful people in these cities.

You are a Bharatnatyam student as well. Do tell us about the dancer Vani.

I always wanted to learn classical Indian dance. Growing up, I never got that opportunity. However, when I came back to India in 2014 from London, I decided to join a Bharatnatyam class and was placed in a batch of these four to ten-year-olds. Guess what, the leaning, jumping, bending routines that we had were so intense, I lost a lot of weight within days which gave me the initial high. Today, I cannot stay without my dance classes. Dancing clears my aura and helps me unclog my mind.

What is your favourite time to write? Any particular place that makes you more productive?

I wake up early and work through the day, getting up for lunch and tea breaks. I love to work in my bedroom. On good days, I can easily write five pages, and on my non-writing days even twenty words are a headache. When I am not writing, I’m reading books.

Is there a particular book that you have read and wished that you had written it?

I’m reading one such book. It is the most amazing book I ever read. Please read it and you’d say the same. It was released in 2004 and was an instant bestseller, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke. The only other book that has had this effect on me is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, also The Colour Purple by Alice Walker.

Are you a full-time writer? What other works are you currently working on?

Yes, I am a full-time writer. I have finished writing my sequel to The Recession Groom. There is a third one that wraps up the series.

Who are your favourite authors/ favourite books?

I am an avid reader and take inspiration from many authors like Jane Austen, J R R Tolkien, George R R Martin, Stephen King, John Grisham, J K Rowling, Dan Brown. Susanna Clarke is my new favourite. Among Indian authors, my favourites are Sudha Murthy, Ravi Subramanian, Chitra Banerjee Devkaruni and Shashi Tharoor.

What are the three tips you have for readers of this interview who are aspiring writers?

1) Read as much as you can and across genre.
2) Be disciplined about your writing. Don’t let anything disturb your writing routine.
3) Believe in yourself, work hard and never lose sight of your goal.

Thank you Vani, that was a very interesting chat. Wishing you the very best for all your future endeavors.

About her Book:
Name of the Book: THE RECESSION GROOM
Author: VANI
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing

Book Blurb:
Parshuraman Joshi, 27, handsome, Hindu-Brahmin, IT Professional, settled in Canada, earns a high figure salary.
These are credentials that would make any young man hot on the Indian wedding market, so it's no wonder that Parshuraman's family is inundated with matrimonial proposals. While so far all attempts to 'settle' him have gone kaput, he has bigger issues vexing him – such as Jennifer, his 'fireball' of a colleague, and their efforts to save Project Infinite. To top it all, as the credit crisis grips the global economy, the little world he's created for himself begins to fall apart. Will he be able to pull himself together to face the challenges posed by a tough economy? More importantly, will this Recession Groom be able to find his 'perfect partner'?


Book Trailer






Click the links below to purchase her book from:






That is all for now folks!

Until next post,

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