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Archive for the ‘CD Hersh paranormal romance author’ Category

Friday Feature

What do you get

the wife?

This is for all the guys out there who have to figure out what to get the wife for that “special” day or for Christmas. Of course you have to remember that “special” day first with enough advance notice to be able to even worry about the gift. If you only remember the day as you are coming home from work then stopping at the flower shop is the only recourse, with possibly a box of candy. Candy only if she is not trying to lose weight so you need to pay attention, but that’s best to do all the time.

Remembering the “special” day has become much easier since we all carry smart phones. Just load the list of “special” days in with a reminder of that day a week in advance. That should give you plenty of time to start paying attention to get that special gift. Of course just paying attention you also have to understand what the hints are or you could end up like the guy in the old joke that said:

“I don’t know what to buy my wife anymore. First she wanted a mink, so I got her one. Then she wanted a silver fox, so I got her one. She still isn’t happy, and now the house if full of animals.”

Yes, you had better understand what the hints are saying.

When writing a story you can always insert a little fun between the hero and heroine with him forgetting a “special” day, especially when he doesn’t even think of that type of thing like the one week, one month anniversary of whatever is special to the heroine. This type of faux pas can give a little levity to some of your conflict between the hero and heroine without it always having to be about life and death. Mixing a little humor into a story can make the characters seem real to the reader.

While not about forgetting a “special” day this excerpt from book one in our Turning Stone Chronicles series has a little fun between the hero and heroine.

No one knew what Rhys Temple liked better than Alexi Jordan. That’s what made them such good partners. That same intimacy would also make them great lovers, a thought that had crossed her mind many times.

Alexi retrieved Rhys’ birthday cake from the back seat of her car. The privilege of baking this momentous-occasion pastry had almost brought her to blows with the rest of the females in the precinct office. She scooped up his birthday gift and then dropped it as the cake box slid down her arm. A quick slap on the clear plastic lid stopped the perilous drop, but squished the yellow roses she’d so carefully crafted onto the German Chocolate cake.

She examined the decorations. Rhys’ name, age, and birthday salutation were intact. She sighed. “So much for presentation.”

A deep chuckle sounded behind her. “Need some help?”

“Hey, birthday boy.” Alexi motioned toward Rhys. “Get your gift.”

His eyebrows rose, and a seductive grin eased across his face as his arm circled Alexi’s waist.

Electricity shot through her causing her to shudder. “Not me.” At least, not for now. “The box. In the car.”

“Oh, that gift.” He released her, his hand trailing across her back.

She jabbed at him with her elbow.

He shrugged, his grin playful. “You can’t blame a guy for trying.”

He’d been “trying” for some time now. It was starting to get to her, but there was no way she could afford to give in. Too many things stood in the way.

As he maneuvered his tall body in front of her, his taut abdomen brushed against her in a way she felt was purposely seductive. Old Spice cologne mixed with a manly scent, uniquely Rhys, drifted past her. She loved the way he smelled.

She backed away. He made concentrating difficult. So much that in the year and a half they’d worked homicide, she’d often been tempted to ask for another partner. But the thought of not spending most days with him always changed her mind.

Have you read a story where something has been inserted about a “special” day being missed or used humor about a special day that made the characters seem genuine?

After you check your calendar for those “special” days, settle into a comfy chair and check out our books on our book page, under the menu at the top of the page or on our Amazon Author Page

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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

A cocktail drink from Us that you can drink as much as you want and not have a headache in the morning.

Busy shopping, wrapping and socializing?
Ready for some rest and relaxation, but need to get going again soon?
Kick back with a festive cocktail!

Recipe by CD Hersh:

Cranberry Sangria by the glass mocktail recipe:

For each 8-ounce champagne glass you will need:

    1/4 cup brewed Hibiscus Watermelon tea (we use Republic of Tea brand)
    1/8 cup brewed Chamomile honey and vanilla tea (we use Twinings brand)
    Sparking apple cider
    1 rounded TBS jellied cranberry sauce (smooth or whole berry)
    Fresh fruits (grapes, whole cranberries, pineapple chunks, peeled sliced star fruit, or peeled kiwi—or fruits of your choice)
    Short skewer or sizzle stick

Directions:

    Thread fruits on a skewer or swizzle stick and set aside.
    Place teas and cranberry sauce in the glass. Mix until sauce is dissolved. Fill glass with sparkling apple cider. Enjoy!

Mock Champagne by the glass (original recipe by C.D. Hersh)

    In an 8-ounce champagne flute, place ¼ cup white grape juice and 1/8 cup Chamomile tea. Fill glass with regular or diet ginger ale. To give the drink a holiday flare, add a slice of star fruit and a couple of whole, fresh cranberries to the glass before adding the liquids.

Now kick back, relax with your drink and pick up a good book to read. You might even try one of ours that you can find over on our book page, under the menu at the top of the page or on our Amazon Author Page

ENJOY!

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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

The ever changing collection of books you have.

We came across the following quote that made us pause and reflect. Let’s see if you have the same reaction.

An ordinary man can…surround himself with two thousand books… and thenceforward have at least one place in the world in which it is possible to be happy. Augustine Birrell

We don’t know about you, but the thought of surrounding ourselves with two thousand books makes us very happy. We love to read, we love books, and we love to surround ourselves with books of all kinds. If you could see into our offices, we definitely have two thousand books and that’s not including the library of paper backs in the basement that we’ve mentioned before. (See our post of November 9th) This obsessiveness extends to books we haven’t read. We can rarely bear to part with a book. This was especially hard when we closed up Donald’s parents’ things and their various books. Dad’s were textbooks on music and electronics with Mom’s being about music and cooking. The cookbooks were kept but the textbooks got passed on to Goodwill.

What about you? Does your passion for books border on the obsessive?

You might be addicted to books if…

    • • You never sign off your Kindle/Nook without downloading a book.
    • • You never leave a bookstore without buying a book.
    • • You read multiple books at any given time.
    • • There’s a book—or more—in every bathroom, by every easy chair, and on your nightstand or you carry your Kindle/Nook from place to place.
    • • You have a reading app on your phone to fill in time while you wait in line for that special cup of coffee.
    • • There’s no such thing as taking out only ONE book at a time from the library.
    • • The librarian and bookstore clerks know you by name.
    • • Your paperbacks are stacked two deep on your shelves.
    • • You had to buy a Kindle AND a Nook because you’ve run out of shelf and floor space in your office.
    • • Your friends think you are their personal lending library.
    • • You get so lost in a book that you don’t hear your name being called.
    • • You get so engrossed in the book you don’t hear the oven timer and burn a meal.
    • • You read while walking down the street. (Don’t laugh, Catherine did this as a teenager)
    • • You’ve actually created furniture using your books.
    • • You have every book your favorite authors have ever written and eagerly await their next releases.

    We have done all these things at one time or another and must admit …. we’re addicted to books. How about you?

    Now kick back, relax and pick up a good book to read. You might even try one of ours that you can find over on our book page, under the menu at the top of the page or on our Amazon Author Page

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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

Home for our books

It started like this

and ended …
like this.

Are you wondering what you’re looking at?

It’s paperback stud cubby bookshelves, made by Donald, the carpenter-handy half of C.D. Hersh, to store Catherine’s romance novels and other paperback book collections, which were layered two deep in her office shelves. They now adorn the ‘library’ section of our basement family room.

Wall studs are the perfect depth for holding 4-inch wide mass market paperbacks. Donald installed an adjustable shelving system on the sides of the studs by dadoing a recess so the metal shelving system was even with the wooden studs. Then he cut the shelves to fit, nailed trim around the openings, painted and stained the surrounding wood and … instant bookshelves! Well, maybe not instant, but certainly a clever storage method.

If you don’t have any bare studs in your house you can still create these fantastic book cubbies by removing a section of drywall and installing the shelving systems between the studs. (Donald note: Use interior wall not extirior or you loose insilation.) The shelving system can also be attached to the stud without recessing it. You’ll lose a couple of inches in storage, but won’t have to mess with power tools. Find your studs with a studfinder tool, make sure the space you’ve chosen is hollow, and be careful when you cut the drywall to insure you don’t hit any hidden wiring or pipes. Adding trim around the opening makes for a neater looking opening.

We’ve had these clever bookshelves in several of the homes we’ve lived in. They’re handy for books and other small items you want to display. Put a door on the surface and you’ve got some covered storage. We happen to like our book cubbies open; it’s easier to read the titles and adds color to the wall. Not only are they handy, but they make a great conversation piece when your guests visit. But watch out … with all your books visible you may become their favorite lending library!

There are quite a few empty stud cubby shelves downstair since Donald created two whole walls using this creative storage idea. I guess that means a few more trips to the bookstore! Yeah!

What clever ideas do you have to create bookshelves in your home or office?

Now kick back, relax and pick up a good book to read. You might even try one of ours that you can find over on our book page, under the menu at the top of the page or on our Amazon Author Page

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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

Air conditioning
The invention we can’t live without!

What to you is the greatest invention in human history? The wheel? Sliced bread? Electricity (not exactly an invention)? The light bulb? The list is endless of the various inventions in human history, but only one that helps when the temperatures move beyond 90 degrees, can there be any doubt that our most amazing piece of technology is the air conditioner?

In 1902 Willis Carrier created the Apparatus for Treating Air for a Brooklyn printing company—a break-through that, as it developed and spread over decades, changed the human condition. Today close to 87 percent of U.S. homes have AC, but we’re old enough to remember when it was a luxury.

During heat waves, people barely moved or did anything. You would sit in front of fans of all sorts to try to stay cool. Some even used tubs of ice in front of the fan to blow cooling air. Nights were a sleepless ordeal, with sweat pooling in various places of the body. Then morning came and you had to wash the damp sheets. Did we mention we lived through this? Carrier set us free from such torment with his invention. Why is he not honored with a special day on the calendar?

Air conditioning is not simply a comfort but has now become a part of modern life. Without it keeping people and computers working when the mercury climbs past 90 all activity would slow or even stop. Would computers even operate? Air conditioning has made it possible for millions of people to live in the Sun Belt states that nature intended for lizards, not humans. As the world warms, the demand for AC grows ever greater. Currently consuming 12 percent of U.S. home energy expenditures, some climate change warriors suggest we all wean ourselves from Carrier’s invention. They argue for a return to a more natural way of life. Been there, done that, not going back!

Sorry, we’d give up about everything else before we went back to living without conditioned air. If they come for our AC, as the saying goes, they’ll have to pry it out of our wonderfully cold, dead fingers.

Now, if your AC is working, settle into a comfy chair and check out some of our hot books on our book page, under the menu at the top of the page or on our Amazon Author Page

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Friday Features

We talk about

Taking a free trip to Scotland

Many books require research, and The Mercenary and the Shifters was no exception. We had to research a bunch of things for this book, but our favorite was the Hebrides Islands in Scotland. It’s a lot of fun when your book requires you to visit other countries. In The Mercenary and the Shifters-Book Four of The Turning Stone Chronicles, our hero goes to the Hebrides in Scotland.

We have never been to Scotland, but it’s somewhere Catherine has always wanted to go, so we set off to discover these remote islands with our hero, Mike Corritore, who lands in Benbecula airport in the Hebrides in the early dawn.

From the airport we headed south for South Uist, crossing a causeway lined on both sides with white boulders. Back on land, the road periodically narrowed into a lane and a half, the bulged-out lanes barely big enough to hold a vehicle. Houses dotted the landscape, surrounded by fields of low, green grass. Squat, wire fences penned in white sheep, grazing contentedly. Along the edge of the road, bushes leaned into the pavement, the tips of the branches sporting white blossoms.

En route for Loch Baghasdail, we crossed a second causeway. Just past the end of the causeway, a series of small, deep blue lakes dotted the countryside. As the road moved inland the landscaped changed. Fewer houses appeared along the roadside. Bleached, white boulders jutted from the ground like cemetery markers. The flat, slightly curvy road became straight, with low, rolling rises. Gray mountains, their tops ringed in matching gray haze, lay against the horizon on the left. The scenery was beautiful, bucolic, and stark at the same time.

Do you want to know the best part about this trip? It didn’t cost us a dime.

We went via Google Maps to the Scottish countryside. Ain’t the internet wonderful?

Maybe someday we’ll get to see the Hebrides in person. In the meantime, we hope you’ll enjoy our hero’s trip to Scotland, the exciting action-packed story, and the results from the fun research we did for this story.

If this piques your interest, then settle into a comfy chair and check out our books on our book page, under the menu at the top of the page or on our Amazon Author Page

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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

The heroine of our book, Son of the Moonless Night, with ten facts about her.

One of the fun things about creating characters is coming up with quirks, personality traits, and interesting tidbits about their personal background. Katrina Romanovski is one of our reader’s favorite characters. We’ve already been asked if she is going to appear in another book. Much to the reader’s dismay, we wouldn’t reveal the answer.

Here are ten interesting facts about Katrina Romanovski, the heroine from our new book, Son of the Moonless Night-The Turning Stone Chronicles, book three.

    1. She is from Transylvania but not Romania. We do solve this mystery in the book.
    2. She hunts paranormals. Hates vampires. And swears by Count Dracula.
    3. She wears a huge Celtic cross as a talisman against vampires.
    4. She not only hunts paranormals, but she’s had her share of paranormal boyfriends. No zombies please, they’re just too creepy.
    5. She is a blonde version of NCIS’s forensic scientist Abby but with a medical degree.
    6. She decided to leave her father’s paranormal hunting business because she was looking for normalcy in her life. Instead she found Owen, the hero of Son of the Moonless Night, a shape shifter.
    7. She is part gypsy, on her father’s side. Her mother is British. Prim-and-proper breeding war with Katrina’s gypsy walk-on-the-wild side. The gypsy usually wins.
    8. She has traveled the USA as an FBI agent but now likes Cleveland, the mistake by the lake.
    9. She loves Italian food but has trouble cooking it, especially when Owen is around.
    10. She spends a lot of time in alleys.

Here is a little more about Katrina from the book:

A crash in the alley stopped Katrina Romanovski mid-stride. Like the October mist swirling in off the lake, her gypsy blood stirred sending her intuition into high gear. Something unnatural was happening.

Go see what’s wrong. She heard her father’s voice as clearly as if he stood next to her.

On the heels of his words came her mother’s pragmatic warning in clipped British tones. You know what curiosity killed. Katrina pushed the ever-present warning aside. Mom never approved of Dad’s supernatural hunts and even less of his drawing her into them.

Pulling the oversized cross she always wore out from under her shirt, Kat looked around for a weapon. Please, not a vampire. I hate vampires! A piece of wood sticking out of the trashcan at the front of the alley caught her eye.

Grabbing it, she broke the end off into a sharp point. The mist-filled air filtered the light from the single bulb over one of the alley doorways. The wind swirled the loose trash around making a quiet approach difficult. Sidestepping the paper, with the stake in one hand and holding the gun she took from her purse in the other hand, she crept into the alley.

A roar echoed against the buildings, the sound nearly sending her running. That roar wasn’t a vampire. It sounded more like an animal. Kat inched closer. In the yellow pool of light from the back door of the building, a black bear, over seven feet tall, reared on its back legs and swung its paw at the man standing at the edge of the light. He crashed to the ground, shirt torn open from the slashing claws. Blood covered the fabric, and he clasped his left hand over his shoulder to stem the flow. The bear bent toward him, teeth bared in a smile. A wicked smile.

Kat aimed her gun, but before she could pull the trigger, a shot rang out. The flash of gunpowder lit the face of the injured man. The blast reverberated against the buildings. With an enraged bellow, the bear staggered backward against the wall. Shaking his head, the animal dropped to all four paws. Weaving like a drunk, he lumbered toward his attacker. The man took aim again, shooting the animal between the eyes. Animal and human collapsed on the dirty, littered pavement.

As she started to move forward, Kat’s gypsy senses crawled over her skin like angry red ants. As she slipped back into the shadows, the bear shed fur. Changing size. Then, finally, turning into a man.

Shape shifters. Her stake wasn’t any good against them, and her bullets weren’t silver. This one appeared dead anyway. Had the wounded man seen the shift? Tossing the stake aside, she paused by the shifter and quickly moved to the wounded man. Out cold. Still human.

When she touched him, his eyelids fluttered open. “Did I get it?”

“What?”

“The bear.”

If this piques your interest, then settle into a comfy chair and check out our books on our book page, under the menu at the top of the page or on our Amazon Author Page

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Friday Features

We talk about

words and meanings

The difference between the right word and the nearly right word is the same as that between lightening and the lightening bug
—Mark Twain.

I (The C in C.D. Hersh) personally experienced Mr. Twain’s quote when the telephone company crossed our phone lines with that of another customer. Upon calling customer service, I explained the problem and noted something different about the employee’s accent.

“Where are you located?” I asked him.

“The Philippines,” he replied.

As he was unable to resolve my problem to my satisfaction I asked to speak to his supervisor. Big mistake, as the supervisor had a thicker accent. To make a long story short, I finally got through to the person on the other end of the line that they needed to check my phone records, or rather the phone records of the number I was calling from—which wasn’t my number, and they would see how to resolve the problem as this was the second time they had switched my phone line with this person.

After much checking and rechecking on what I’d said, the phone company employee gave me a time that they would attempt to fix the problem. He said the technician would come to our apartments and look in our phone boxes. I repeatedly told him neither of us lived in apartments and there should be no need for the technician to come into our homes. We lived in houses a mile apart and no one had been messing with our phone boxes. The problem was on their end, or rather in a relay box somewhere near where we live. I should have taken the hint right then that we weren’t on the same page, English-wise or culturally.

Then he said we should keep our phone lines open.

Now I don’t know what that meant to him, but to me it meant staying on the line. “Do you mean you want me to not hang up the phone?” I asked, wondering how that make any sense and how it was going to work for the allotted time to would take to fix the line.

“No,” he said, “keep it by your side.”

“Keep it by my side?” That made about as much sense as putting Godiva dark chocolates on a hot sidewalk. “Do you mean you want me to carry it around with me?” I asked.

“No,” he replied.

I searched my brain for another definition of keeping the line open. “Then do you want us not make any calls or take any calls on our lines?” I asked.

He said some other unintelligible phrase, obviously as frustrated as I was at his botched attempts. Finally, he blurted out, “Don’t unplug the phone.”

“Why would I do that?” I asked, completely bamboozled at his definition. That, I thought, would be a stupid thing to do, and had absolutely no relationship to the phrase “keep the lines open.” What he tried to express to me, with what appeared to be a very basic understanding of English, was as close to lightening as lightening is to a lightening bug.

Next time I have to deal with the phone company, I’m asking where the customer service employee is located, and calling back until I get someone in America. Hopefully, they’ll know the difference between lightening and the lightening bug.

Links for our books are on our Amazon Author Page

BIO: C.D. Hersh–Two hearts creating everlasting love stories.
Putting words and stories on paper is second nature to co-authors C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s. As high school sweethearts and husband and wife, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after.

They are looking forward to many years of co-authoring and book sales, and a lifetime of happily-ever-after endings on the page and in real life.

If this piques your interest, then settle into a comfy chair and check out our books on our book page, under the menu at the top of the page or on our Amazon Author Page

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Friday Features

We talk about

lip locking fun!

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Photo from the U.S Navy files via Wikimedia

As we’ve mentioned before, we’re hooked on the Bachelor television show. Yes, we know 99 percent of the “in love” couples at the end of each season don’t make it past the screening of the series. Yes, we know it’s a lot of drama and cat fights. Yes, we know it’s probably all hokey. Nevertheless, deep down we are romantics who hope that some lucky couple will find true love.

The Bachelor season with Sean had a couple of romantic dates planned for his ladies. On week two there was a group date photo shoot with Harlequin, one of the most well-known publishers of romance novels. On week three Sean took Lesley Murphy to set a new Guinness World record for the longest onscreen kiss. The old record was 3 minutes and 15 seconds. Sean and Lesley set a new record with a live audience cheering them on.

Watching that long on-screen kiss made us curious. If two people who barely know each other can lock lips for over 3 minutes and 16 seconds, how long can a couple who are in love kiss? So, we did some research from a purely writer’s point of view. We set the timer and read a love scene from a romance book for 3 minutes and 16 seconds.

If you were reading a 3 minute 16 second love scene (referencing kissing only here) it would take approximately two pages of lip-locking description to break the world record, assuming you are not a speed reader. That’s an estimated 600 words in Times New Roman font. When we searched the computer’s thesaurus for alternate words for kiss and kissing—because you would surely not want to use the same verb each time you mentioned kiss—we came up empty-handed. Roget’s Thesaurus netted us a measly six synonyms: smack, buss, osculate (caress), brush, graze, and shave (touch). What shave has to do with kissing, aside from whisker burn, we have no idea. Roget forgot an obvious synonym, in our humble opinion—smooch.

On the hunt now, because we couldn’t believe how few alternate words we’d found for kiss, we went to the Romance Writer’s Phrase Book, by Jean Kent and Candace Shelton, where we found one hundred and five kissing related phrases. However, only 61 were suitable for use in 3 minutes and 16 seconds of lip-locking, record-breaking kissing description. To win the record both parties’ lips must be touching the whole time, and some of the phrases in the book involved kissing other body parts.

Next, we did an internet search for synonyms for kiss and kissing. Here’s a few more that we came up with: snog (British slang for kiss), neck, canoodle, peck, suck face, make out, spoon, get to first base, French, plant one on, Yankee dime/nickel (a favorite of Catherine’s parents), bill and coo, cupcake, spark, make whoopee, and mwah (onomatopoeia for the kissing sound).

The next step in the research is to write a 600-word kissing scene. Better yet, we think we’ll set the timer and create our own Guinness World Record for kissing. That’s bound to be more fun than struggling to write 600 kissing related words on the computer. ☺

Have you kissed someone you love today?

Here’s an excerpt from our book Can’t Stop the Music for you to read while you remember if you’ve kissed anyone today.

Tipping her chin up, he whispered, “Anything for you.” Then he lowered his mouth to hers and kissed her, savoring the sweet taste he’d only dreamt of. She leaned against him, their bodies molding together perfectly. In the strains of Woodstock music coming from the living room, he swore he heard the lyrics I’ll gift you forever, to have and to hold.

As their kisses grew more passionate, she mumbled against his lips, “We should drink our tea before it gets cold.”

“I hate chamomile tea,” he confessed.

She drew away and stared at him. “You lied?”

“Fibbed a little. But only to get my foot in the door.”

She punched him lightly on the chest. “Don’t do that again.”

“You have my word.” He grabbed her fist and kissed her knuckles one by one, lavishing his tongue over the flesh. A tiny moan escaped from her. He gazed at her in expectation. Her eyes dropped shut, her head dipping backward as an expression of rapture floated over her face.

The doorbell rang, startling them apart.

If this piques your interest, then settle into a comfy chair and check out our books on our book page, under the menu at the top of the page or on our Amazon Author Page

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Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.

This one especially as it’s about our book.

 


 

Grateful for my Fellow Soulies

By De Ann Smallwood

In this season of Thanksgiving, I wanted to acknowledge all for which I’m thankful. Of course, I’m grateful for my husband and all the amazing people in my life. During this pandemic, we have all learned how valuable human relationships are and how much being separated from friends and family grates on the soul. As a teacher, I’m also grateful for days off when I can indulge in reading, and I am very thankful that I am part of a talented group of writers at Soul Mate Publishing.

Recently, I read a novel entitled Can’t Stop the Music by fellow Soulies C. D. Hersh, that intrepid . . .

For the rest of the blog go to:

Soul Mate Publishing blog

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