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Blog Tour: CAMP FORGET-ME-NOT by J.K. Rock – Excerpt & Awesome Giveaway
Oct 20th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

 Blog Tour: CAMP FORGET-ME-NOTCamp ForgetMeNot cover

by J.K. Rock

Published by: Spencer Hill Contemporary

About the Book:
Playing it safe and fitting in may have rocketed Kayla West into the In crowd at Camp Juniper Point, but it’s left her lonely. The only person she’s ever been herself with was her former best friend, Nick, an outsider that pushed her to join the most popular girls cabin two years ago. Too bad being a Diva meant pressure to break up with Nick. Of course, Kayla had her reasons, but Nick can never know the real one. She always thought she’d forget him one day and move on. Until he returns to camp a super-hot Olympian snowboarder. Now, every girl wants him and Nick seems determined to show her what a mistake she made. Or at least, she thought that’s what he wanted. But when Nick starts sending her private notes–just like he used to–she wonders what kind of game he’s playing. Nick’s attention is making it tougher to stay in the background and play in safe, forcing Kayla to make a decision–stay on the sidelines and get overlooked? Or take a chance on trusting Nick and, maybe… herself.

 

Excerpt from CAMP FORGET-ME-NOT

“Where is Kayla?” Rachel’s voice rose.

Oh God. Please don’t let anyone hear her…

“Kayla!”

“Kayla!” chorused my friends.

Damn.

I shot to the surface and sucked in a long breath. So much for the underwater hiding spot I’d ducked into when Nick flashed by in his swim lane. So far, I’d mostly stayed off his radar, and I meant to keep it that way until I left tomorrow. We had too much history to start another chapter.

“We were looking for you.” Rachel lifted her swim goggles and frowned down at me with light brown eyes that matched her springing, shoulder-length curls. “You scared the crap out of us.”

“Sorry.” I swiped my hair off my face and swirled in the cool water so that my back faced the returning guys. My pale shoulders crisped under the bright sun. “Didn’t think you’d notice.”

Brittany patted my hand on the floating rope, her eyes a light blue without her vampire contacts. “We’d probably notice if you were dead.”

“Ya think?” Rachel hoisted her sleek, Speedo-clad body onto the swim platform. “I thought you only had eyes for Nick, Britt.”

My heartbeat tripped over itself at his name. Despite the splashing, churning water around us, the catcalls and whistle-blowing, it was all I heard. Reason three for needing to leave camp: it sucked being around an ex that I still liked. Especially now that everyone else liked him, too.

“Nick!” cough/hacked Brooke, and we all froze. I swear, even the dripping water suspended in midair.

“What’s up? Everything okay?” rumbled a deep voice that was as familiar as it was different. “Everyone accounted for?”

I felt his eyes slide over me before he lifted the lane separator and joined us. Nick Desanti. Even when we’d been no more than hiking partners before we became best friends and nearly more, I’d always been super-aware of him. I met his hazel gaze for a split second, the vivid color contrasting against his dark Italian skin and black-brown hair.

“Nothing to see. Let’s move along, folks,” I muttered under my breath and reached for the platform. Strong hands spanned my waist and lifted me onto the worn wood.

I turned around to object, even though his touch sent heat streaking through me, but I closed my mouth at the sight of Nick’s back. Kayla dismissed. It hurt more than the splinter digging into my big toe. The quick boost was no more than he’d do for anyone. And that’s all I was to Nick now. Anyone. Or worse…no one.

Ouch.

“Ohhhhh, lift me next, Nick. You’re so strong!” Brooke wriggled her bikini-clad behind like a dog in heat, her purple-tipped black hair swishing in the water. Would I be justified in calling her a bitch? It was the right term, but I could never say that out loud. I was the girl who never spoke her mind…except in her mind.

A loud squeal sounded in the humid, mid-July air as Nick tossed first Brooke, then Brittany at Rachel and me, toppling us like bowling pins. From the shore, a whistle shrilled. Gollum. We’d nicknamed our camp director, Mr. Woodrow, after the Lord of the Rings creature for a whistle obsession so intense we called it his Precious. He waved his arms at us and our oblivious counselor, Victoria. Despite dripping around her like a rainstorm, we didn’t cause her to look up from her magazine.

“Thank you, Nick.” Brittany finger-combed her long blonde hair and batted her water-spiked lashes.

Nick’s eyes crinkled as he smiled up at her. “Anytime. If you need me, just give a shout.”

Brooke waved her hands overhead, her violet eyes flashing. “Shout!”

Everyone laughed but me. Instead, I scooted behind the pack of posing, preening girls.

“Careful or you’ll slide right off that platform again,” Nick called, and all eyes turned toward me. Some of the nearby campers laughed, remembering the time I’d once missed a relay race dive and belly-flopped off the slippery dock.

I crossed my arms and glared at him, my scowl only making his smile widen. First he ignored me and now he tried to humiliate me. Was that why he’d returned to camp? I didn’t believe his story about needing time off from practices and endorsement appearances. He could have gone somewhere way more glamorous. No, Nick came back to Juniper Point for a reason.

Revenge.

***Important Links***

About the Authors:JK Rock Author Photo

Writing partners Joanne and Karen Rock pen Young Adult books as a team in addition to solo careers as adult romance writers (learn more below). Married into the same big, boisterous clan, Joanne and Karen quickly bonded over a shared love of books. After a decade of re-plotting their favorite films during family parties, they decided to write a book of their own. They sold their first attempt to the Spencer Hill Contemporary imprint of Spencer Hill Press as the launch title.

 

Giveaway:

The awesome books you could win!

The awesome books you could win! 

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Blog Tour:

October 20th:

Who R U Blog (Liza)

Lola’s Reviews (Lola)

October 21st:

Jenuine Cupcakes (Jen)

October 22nd:

Kelly Vision (Kelly)

October 23rd:

The Book Belles (Montana)

Books, Books and More Books (Samantha)

October 24th:

Fic Wishes (Lori)

October 27th:

Book LaLa Land (Lea)

Sandra’s World of Books (Sandra)

October 28th:

Princess Bookie Cindy (Cindy)

October 29th:

The Cover Contessa (Brooke)

October 30th:

Fluffy Reader (Francine)

Actin’ Up With Books (Joli)

October 31st:

The Passionate Bookworms (Brittany)

Caged in Winter by Brighton Walsh, Excerpt and Giveaway
Oct 15th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

pa-9704 Brighton Walsh Blitz Banner.indd

Caged in Winter,

a New Adult Novel

by Brighton Walsh

Pre-order here:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo

 

In this emotional and sexy New Adult debut from Brighton Walsh, the only thing more frightening than 9780425276488_medium_Caged_in_Wintercommitment is hope…

Aspiring chef Cade Maxwell is immediately, viscerally attracted to Winter Jacobson. But it’s not her mouthwatering curves he’s drawn to—it’s the strange emptiness in her eyes. When Cade saves her from a drunken customer with grabby hands, he’s shocked at her response…

Winter doesn’t need Cade’s help. After a lifetime of getting by on her own, she’s happy to rely on herself. She’s exactly seventy-six days away from graduating college, and if she can hold it together that long, she’ll finally be able to rise above the crappy hand she was dealt.

But now, every time she turns around, Cade is there, ready to push her, smile at her, distract her from her plans. Winter knows she can’t afford to open up—especially to a man she’s terrified to actually want…

 

Giveaway:

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About Brighton Walsh:

Brighton Walsh spent nearly a decade as a professional photographer before deciding to take her storytelling in a different direction and reconnect with writing. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and two children.

Brighton Author Photo_Color

Connect with Brighton here:

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website

 

 

Excerpt:

 

cade

“Okay, now add the flour, but—” It’s too late, a puff of white exploding in Winter’s face before I can get the words out or reach to flip the switch. “You need to turn the mixer to low.”

She spins around, her cheeks covered in random white spots, some of the flour dusting her hair. “You couldn’t say that before, ‘Now add the flour’?” Her voice is low, her eyes narrowed, and I take a step back.

“Well, yeah, I guess I could’ve, but I just sort of figured you’d know enough not to add loose flour to a wildly spinning mixer.”

“Oh, you figured I’d know enough for that, huh? Even after I told you I’ve never made cookies before? Even then?”

She’s advancing on me now, and I shouldn’t be retreating like a scared animal. I have more than a foot on her, a hundred-plus pounds, but she looks pissed. And that glint in her eye tells me she’s up to something. I glance down at her hand, seeing a measuring cup half filled with flour, and I realize what she’s going to do a split-second before she does, but not soon enough to dodge it.

A cloud of white powder hits me straight in the face, and I cough as I inhale some. Wiping away the dust from my eyes, I say, “I can’t believe you did that.”

“Oh, well, I just figured you’d know enough to duck.” She shrugs and offers me a saccharine smile.

“I don’t think you want to start this with me, baby.”

“In case you missed the flour in your face a second ago, I already started it, baby.”

I stare her down, then reach over, grabbing the bowl of melted chocolate—my mom’s secret ingredient in her cookies—and dip my fingers into it. Winter narrows her eyes at me and takes a step back. “Don’t you dare.”

“Where you goin’? I thought you wanted to get messy.”

“No, I wanted you to get messy. I didn’t have a choice with this,” she says as she gestures to where the flour hit her. She darts her eyes down to the bowl of chocolate, then back up to my face. “Don’t, Cade. You’re going to get me dirty, and I have to be at work soon.”

Blog Tour: FAMOUS IN LOVE by Rebecca Serle – 5 Star Review & Giveaway
Oct 14th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

famousinlove

FAMOUS IN LOVE

by Rebecca Serle

Pub. Date: October 21, 2014

Publisher: Poppy

Pages: 336

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

 

Find it:

IndieBoundAmazon | Barnes & Noble Goodreads | Book Depository

 

Famous in Love:serle_famousinlove_hc

The romantic story of a girl who gets plucked from obscurity to star in the next major feature film franchise based on a book and the ensuing love triangles she gets entangled in on—-and off screen.

Meet Paige Townsen, Rainer Devon, and Jordan Wilder…

When Paige Townsen, a young unknown, gets cast in the movie adaptation of a blockbuster book series, her life changes practically overnight. Within a month, Paige has traded the quiet streets of her hometown for a crowded movie set on the shores of Maui, and is spending quality time with her co-star Rainer Devon, one of People’s Sexiest Men Alive. But when troubled star Jordan Wilder lands the role of the other point in the movie’s famous love triangle, Paige’s crazy new life gets even crazier.

In this coming-of-age romance inspired by the kind of celeb hookups that get clever nicknames and a million page views, Paige must figure out who she is – and who she wants – while the whole world watches.22900495

Awesome fact! LOCKED which is the story/movie script the characters are cast for inside FAMOUS IN LOVE is a real book! Written by Rebecca Serle writing as Parker Witter, who is also the reclusive author character in her Famous in Love series! Read the article in Publishers Weekly HERE!

 

Author Rebecca Serle

Author Rebecca Serle


About Rebecca:

Rebecca Serle is the author of When You Were Mine, The Edge of Falling, and Famous in Love and is an obsessive lover of all things pop culture. She blogs about The Vampire Diaries for New York magazine’s Vulture and can be found on Twitter: @RebeccaASerle. She, like Caggie, lives in Manhattan—just far from the Upper East Side.

Photo by Tara Kelly

Find Rebecca Online:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram

 

Giveaway Details:

Five winners will receive a finished copy of FAMOUS IN LOVE as well as an eBook of Parker Witter’s LOCKED! US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

My Review:

I confess: I was one of a few dozen bloggers who knew about the connection between LOCKED and FAMOUS IN LOVE before publication. The big surprise: Rebecca Serle is Parker Witter. I loved the concept behind this – a novella released by Parker Witter (aka Rebecca), which would be the basis for FAMOUS IN LOVE! Knowing this gave a whole different perspective on reading LOCKED. So incredibly clever. Because I knew there was going to be this connection between the two stories, it definitely influenced my perspective. I believe if readers see the link from one to the other, it will impact the reading experience. My recommendation: read LOCKED, and then FAMOUS IN LOVE. I was hooked!

My review of LOCKED:

LockedLocked by Parker Witter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Received an e-book copy through Little Brown (Poppy!) Thanks!

One girl. Two boys. All great friends. Girl dates boy 1 and loves him. Feels a connection with boy 2, who seems to avoid her at every turn . . ..

Meet Ed. He’s an awesome guy. Kind, thoughtful, sympathetic, sensitive, and madly in love August.
Meet August. She loves Ed, but wants some space. Her need for space, her need to go out on her own and not be at the same college with Ed, creates a rift between them.
Meet Noah. He’s the best friend, who has been in love with August for a long time. He stepped aside, though, because Ed is much better for her than he is.
Meet Maggie, August’s sister. She needs August. Their mom is dead, their father is absent a lot.
Together these four get on a small plane that will take them college hopping.

Until . . . CRASH!!!!

Noah saves August, dragging her to an island. Ed and Maggie are nowhere to be found. This is when the magic begins. Noah has some pretty powerful healing skills. Readers will learn a lot about the power of love, the power of friendship, and the power of second chances. What purpose do we have in life? What is your role? LOCKED will open up some new channels and get readers thinking about where they fit in. Who, if anyone, would you give up your life for? Readers will be intrigued by the island. The island is definitely its own “character” in this novella.

LOCKED is romantic, mysterious, and a fast read. I am so intrigued by this story and can’t wait to get more from this author!

For those of you who love a romantic novella that will suck you in and have you wondering, what next? Definitely pick this one up!

My review of FAMOUS IN LOVE:

Famous in Love (Famous in Love, #1)Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I swooned. AND . . . .

SURPRISE: What makes this novel incredibly clever is that Rebecca Serle wrote LOCKED, which is the “hit” novel—novella in this case—that FAMOUS IN LOVE was based on, and it was released under a pen name: Parker Witter. See my review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show… When you read the novella first, it really has a HUGE impact on your perspective of FAMOUS IN LOVE. Can you read FAMOUS IN LOVE without it? Sure you can. But, if you want the full impact and to delve into how amazing the connections are between the novella and this novel, then I recommend you read LOCKED too!


“I’ve never walked the red carpet before! Are we supposed to run?” (There’s no running on the red carpet in this novel, but it reflects the excitement of the experience for Paige!)

Imagine what it would be like if you were an ordinary YA auditioning for a Hollywood teen movie based on a bestselling YA series. And . . . YOU GET THE PART! You’re plucked out of obscurity and right into the world of fame and fortune. Hot guys, hard work, gorgeous film location. You leave your friends, your family, your job and go from ordinary to having people recognize you and ask for your autograph. You get to kiss handsome co-stars! Your life revolves around learning lines, acting (which isn’t so easy, especially with a director who yells at you and expects perfection), studying for your GED, hair, makeup, wardrobe, and publicity shots, and interviews. Now add two hot actors into the mix, both interested in you. Both with problems and issues to overcome.

This is Paige Townsen’s life when she gets the lead female role in a blockbuster book trilogy.

I don’t think Rebecca Serle could have done this better. I was transported onto the movie set and into Paige’s life. It felt authentic and most definitely like I was reading an autobiography or a diary of Paige’s experience. Please don’t cringe when I say this . . . but I can imagine what it was like for Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner. I loved it. LOVED IT!!!!!

View all my reviews

 

Blog Tour:

Week One:

10/13/2014- yabooknerdInterview

10/14/2014- WhoRuBlogReview

10/15/2014- Bewitched BookwormsGuest Post

10/16/2014- Fiction fareInterview

10/17/2014- Wishful EndingsReview

 

Week Two:

10/20/2014- FiktshunGuest Post

10/21/2014- Crossroad Reviews – Review and Guest Post

10/22/2014- kimberlyfaye reads- Review

10/23/2014- Me, My Shelf and IGuest Post

10/24/2014- Page Turners BlogInterview

Writing Great Books for Young Adults by Regina L. Brooks – Excerpt & Giveaway
Oct 8th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

Writing Great Books for Young Adults

9781402293528-PR

Published by Sourcebooks

October 7, 2014

By Regina L. Brooks

ISBN: 9781402293528 ● Trade Paperback/$14.99

Sourcebooks

Buy it here:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound

Praise for Writing Great Books for Young Adults

“Written from the perspective of an industry insider, the book shows budding authors how to edit their work with fresh eyes.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Brooks offers writers who are serious about attracting teen readers solid guidance through the creation process of writing YA fiction.” —Library Journal

“Brooks fills her book with clear examples that illustrate her points… If you’re looking for an A to Z guide on writing and publishing YA fiction, Regina Brooks’s how-to is the place to go.” —Writer Magazine

Break into the young adult market with this indispensable guide!

With an 87 percent increase in the number of young adult titles published in the last two years, the young adult market is one of the healthiest segments in the industry. Despite this fact, surprisingly little has been written to help authors hone their craft and truly connect with the young adult audience.

Writing Great Books for Young Adults gives writers all the advice they need to tap into this incredible and innovative market. Literary agent Regina L. Brooks shows writers how listening to young adults will help them create characters their audience can identify with.

Topics covered include meeting your protagonistengaging your readers,, trying on points of view, and many more.

 regina image

About the Author: Regina L. Brooks is the founder of Serendipity Literary Agency and has been developing award-winning authors and books for over a decade. She has been highlighted in several national and international magazines and periodicals, including Poets and WritersEssenceWriter’s Digest, andSister2SisterForbes, Media Bistro, Ebony, and Jet. She lives in New York City.

Connect with Regina: Twitter |Facebook |Website 

 

 

Five Rules for Engaging Readers of Young Adult

Fiction

Before you even start putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard), there are some issues that need to be addressed. A lot of writers out there think writing YA fiction is easy. It’s not. Some mistakes you might make will condemn your book to languish on the slush pile forever. So before we even talk about the nitty–gritty of how to shape your book—-character, plot, setting, point of view—-we need to talk about the five key elements that can make or break you as a YA writer.

The Holden Caulfield Rule—-Don’t Be a Phony!

Imagine traveling to a planet where your survival depends on hiding out among the inhabitants, where being recognized as a phony would mean instant annihilation. In that situation, you’d want to study the locals until you knew just how to look and sound and respond like them. It is the same in YA fiction. In this case, sudden death occurs when the reader, stumbling upon a false image, loses interest. The book closes with the splintering sound of a fatal bullet.

It’s no exaggeration.

Holden Caulfield, the protagonist of J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, was always railing against the phoniness of other people, particularly adults. The enduring popularity of Catcher in the Rye demonstrates that teens today are the same way—-they despise fakes.

YA Fiction Rule #1: The life of the story depends on the writer’s ability to convince READERS that the protagonist is one of them.

The key to writing a successful YA novel means knowing kids well enough to channel their voices, thoughts, and emotions. (“Kids” is used as an operative word here. The official YA audience encompasses twelve– to eighteen–year–olds, but it is expanding as children’s book publishers work to attract readers as young as ten and eleven, and adult publishers reach to capitalize on the growing market.) While some of your readers may be a little younger than the twelve–to–eighteen target—-children aged ten to twelve tend to read above their age—-and some may be a little older, keep in mind that you have to convince all segments of your audience that you know what it feels like to be a young person today. If you can’t convince your audience that you know how they feel about the world today and express yourself the same way, you will never reach them.

Avoid the Preach ‘n’ Teach

Whether YA readers attend elementary or secondary school isn’t an issue when it comes to the importance of YA Fiction Rule #2.

YA Fiction Rule #2: Don’t be condescending to your readers.

Young people won’t abide stories that suggest that their turmoil or idealism will pass when they “grow up.” Brent Hartinger, author of Geography Club, says, “I’m a big believer that kids are smarter than we think they are.…I think kids can handle complexity and nuances, and the advantage to writing that way is that the book appeals to both teenagers and adults.”

Many adults read fiction as an escape—-teens are no different. Imagine spending a long day in school, learning boring lessons ’cause you’re supposed to, having everyone from parents to teachers to employers telling you what to do, how to think, what to wear, then picking up a novel—-and having someone else trying to shove another lesson down your throat! I can’t imagine a bigger letdown.

Don’t deal with young people by trying to push them in one direction or another. Deal with them where they’re at now.

Soak It Up!

A word of caution: don’t emulate your favorite authors, but learn from them. You’ll want to create work that is truly your own. In the resource guide at the back of this book, along with details such as schools that offer writing degrees with a YA focus, you’ll find listings for websites that recommend great YA fiction.

YA Fiction Rule #3: Read, read, read today’s YA fiction.

The benefits to reading what’s already on the market are phenomenal. It will familiarize you with what’s selling, how kids today talk, what they wear, what issues concern them, and so on. If you don’t have easy access to a teen, reading books meant for teens is probably the next best thing to having a teen personally tell you what he or she would like to read.

Ideals First, Meals Later

Writing a successful book that aims to attract the widest possible audience should be every writer’s goal, shouldn’t it? The answer is yes and no. It helps to have a general audience age in mind, but you don’t want to be consumed with thoughts about how and whether you’ll sell your work.

YA Fiction Rule #4: Silence your worries about commercial considerations.

This allows you to concentrate on your primary objective, which is to tell your story. If a nagging inner voice surfaces or someone discourages you, rather than pulling on earphones and listening to music as a teenager might, transform the voices through the power of your imagination into “white noise.” This is the all–frequency sound emitted from machines that imparts a feeling of privacy, calming you and allowing you to focus on that world you’re creating. Keep your artistic integrity—-your ideals—-ahead of how commercially successful—-your meals—-you want your book to be. If you focus on writing the best possible book, commercial success will follow later.

As your manuscript develops while you work through the guidelines provided in the ensuing chapters, your audience will become as clear to you as if you were speaking on a stage and looking into an auditorium full of people. If you subsequently work with an agent, the two of you can determine whether the manuscript should be pitched to editors specializing in YA, adult fiction, or both. But the fate of your manuscript will still be up in the air. Editors, who are invested with the power to buy or decline a manuscript, will ultimately determine to whom the book will be marketed.

The significant rise in the success of YA novels has opened the way for a multiplicity of categories, and just to give you an idea, I’ve listed some alphabetically: adventure, chick lit, comical, fantasy, fantasy epics, futuristic, gay–themed, historical, multicultural, mystery, religious, romantic, science fiction, sports, and urban. If your story idea doesn’t fit into any of these categories, you may have to invent one. Consider it an opportunity.

The Undiscovered Country

From this point on, let your creative spirit be guided by YA Rule #5.

YA Rule #5: In your new world of YA fiction, erect no concrete barriers, wire fences, or one–way signs. Instead, forge new paths.

The YA field welcomes innovators. Encapsulating the newness of the time, YA novels are being published in nontraditional formats. Three YA authors banded together to compose a novel. Another entry is an interactive book with websites that combines reading with the world of Internet gaming. What will your contribution be? Think fresh.

Remember that young people are trendsetters—-they’re always looking to differentiate themselves from others. It’s how teens forge their own identities. Don’t be afraid to push the boat out as well. Coming up with a fresh idea will set you apart from the pack and might be the thing that sparks an editor’s interest in your work.

Okay, consider yourself warned. Now that you know what not to do, it’s time to learn how to craft the next YA bestseller. Step by step, this book will walk you through the mechanics of what makes a great YA novel.

Chapter 2 is about generating an idea, your story. It will talk about different ways to uncover stories that YA readers will want to read about. It will also help you discover new possibilities for stories within yourself that you may not have known you had.

Chapter 3 will discuss characters—-the heart of any manuscript. How to breathe life into interesting characters your reader will connect with is the main lesson of this chapter, but we’ll also discuss how to find the best characters for the story you want to tell.

Chapter 4 is all about plot, story, and how to tell the difference. Plot is like a machine that propels your manuscript forward, while story is the overall impression you want the plot to create in the reader’s mind.

Chapter 5 is about how to put together a believable plot. It’s all about action—-establishing the main conflict of your manuscript and putting it in motion. Of special concern will be integrating the events of the manuscript with the characters’ personalities, making sure that the characters react to events in believable ways.

Chapter 6 is about setting and timeline. Setting is the background of your story—-the when and where. This chapter is about understanding the atmosphere of your story and effectively manipulating the details of that atmosphere to influence your manuscript’s tone.

Chapter 7 is about point of view—-the perspective from which you tell your story. Point of view can be an extremely effective tool for connecting with character and clarifying or confusing the reader about events—-provided you use it correctly.

Chapter 8 is about the meat of your manuscript—-dialogue. Dialogue provides an opportunity for your characters to interact and opens up another way to build your characters.

Chapter 9 is about the theme of your manuscript. Theme is the overall impression you want your readers to take away. It’s a subtle but effective way for the author to express himself through the story.

Chapter 10 is about wrapping it all up, bringing your plot to a successful resolution. Endings can be very tricky, so there will be detailed discussion about what sorts of conclusions to avoid.

Chapter 11 is about how to find constructive feedback and incorporate it into your revisions. All authors need to edit and revise their manuscript, and this chapter will explain why the editing process is so necessary.

Chapter 12 is about getting published—what agents and editors do and how to get your work into their hands. This is the business chapter-—the one that details exactly how the publishing industry works.

Chapter 13 is about YA nonfiction and the emerging genre of New Adult. The YA market is constantly in flux, and this chapter will expose you to two recent developments in the market.

I hope all of these tools will be helpful to you as you begin the process of writing the next YA bestseller. Let’s begin exploring that magical new world.

Giveaway: Open to US & Canada

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Blog Tour: DAMSEL DISTRESSED by Kelsey Macke – Except & Giveaway
Oct 6th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

Blog Tour Banner

DAMSEL DISTRESSED

by Kelsey Macke

Release Date: October 14, 2014

Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary

BUY LINKS:

Indiebound |Amazon | Barnes & Noble  | The Book Depository | Kobo

 ☆

 Find out more about the novel here:

Goodreads | Damsel Distressed Website | Damsel Distressed Tumblr

Congrats to Kelsey Macke: Damsel Distress

won the

2014 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award, YA-Fiction General, Gold

 

Synopsis:DD_FNL_FS_FNL.indd

Hot girls get the fairy tales. No one cares about the stepsisters’ story. Those girls don’t get a sweet little ending; they get a lifetime of longing

Imogen Keegen has never had a happily ever after–in fact, she doesn’t think they are possible. Ever since her mother’s death seven years ago, Imogen has pulled herself in and out of therapy, struggled with an “emotionally disturbed” special ed. label, and loathed her perma-plus-sized status.

When Imogen’s new stepsister, the evil and gorgeous Ella Cinder, moves in down the hall, Imogen begins losing grip on the pieces she’s been trying to hold together. The only things that gave her solace–the theatre, cheese fries, and her best friend, Grant–aren’t enough to save her from her pain this time.

While Imogen is enjoying her moment in the spotlight after the high school musical, the journal pages containing her darkest thoughts get put on display. Now, Imogen must resign herself to be crushed under the ever-increasing weight of her pain, or finally accept the starring role in her own life story.

And maybe even find herself a happily ever after.

Enhance the experience with the companion soundtrack, Imogen Unlocked, by the author’s band, Wedding Day Rain.

 

Excerpt: 

The sun streams in through my car’s open windows. I love the feeling of a good day that’s also gorgeous outside. I’ve run through Grant’s birthday plans about fifty times, but I want it to be perfect.

As I drive down the highway, I can’t help but see little memories of all the amazing times we’ve had at every mile marker. 

That’s the McDonald’s where we scared the little kids by jumping out of the ball pit. There’s that gas station where we sat on the curb and tried to smoke a cigarette without throwing up. And the grocery store down that road always has the best selection of cookies in the bakery. We can’t settle in for an all-day Mythbusters marathon without our favorite cookies.

And if I were to take that exit there and take the first left and then the second right, I’d be at the cemetery where my mom is buried. And where little Grant stood by little me and held my hand while my dad cried into the ground.

Music

CD Cover

CD Blurb:

Damsel Distressed is the story of Imogen, a girl who’s survived the years after her mother’s death by focusing squarely on her best friend, Grant, musical theatre, and lots of cheese. The book is full of humor and heart, and also contains a few surprises. Full page sketches are scattered throughout the novel, and each one contains a QR code that corresponds to a song from the book’s soundtrack. Imogen Unlocked is a 12-song album of original music written by the author and her husband Daron as their indie-pop band, Wedding Day Rain. Together, the book Damsel Distressed and the soundtrack Imogen Unlocked work together to tell the story of a girl who might just make her own Happily Ever After, if she can just hold herself together.

 

Imogen Unlocked Track Listing:

  1. Heavy

  2. No Goodbye

  3. Something About

  4. Sinking

  5. Don’t Wake Me Up

  6. Let Me Go

  7. My Strength

  8. Unseen

  9. Always Speak Too Late

  10. The End is Just the Beginning

  11. Breathe Easy

  12. Edge of the Fall

 

Author Bio:Kelsey_Author_Photo

Kelsey Macke has been creative for as long as she can remember. From an early age she was on stage singing, penning poetry, and writing notebooks full of songs. When the idea for her debut novel, DAMSEL DISTRESSED, popped into her head, she was undeterred by the fact that she had no idea how to actually write a novel. Her bff, the internet, was her guide, and after much trial, error, and candy, she finished it, and set out to get it published… a process far more difficult than, the internet (now her mortal enemy), had lead her to believe.

Her whirlwind adventure was made even more unbelievable when she signed with fabulous agent, Jessica Sinsheimer of the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency and, shortly after, Danielle Ellison of Spencer Hill Contemporary bought her debut.

This innovative, mixed-media art project has given Kelsey an incredibly unique opportunity to join two of her passions: writing and making music with her husband as half of the folky, indie-pop band Wedding Day Rain.

DAMSEL DISTRESSED, and the companion album of original songs, Imogen Unlocked, are scheduled for release in October 2014.

 Find Kelsey here:

Website |  Twitter | Facebook |  YouTube | Tumblr

Giveaway (US only)

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Flashback Friday: THE CATASTROPHIC HISTORY OF YOU AND ME by Jess Rothenberg
Oct 3rd, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

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For more information on FLASHBACK FRIDAY, 

check out FictionFare

THE CATASTROPHIC HISTORY OF YOU AND ME

This was the original cover.

This was the original cover.

by Jess Rothenberg

Published February 21, 2012

by Penguin Young Readers Group

Buy it here: IndieBound |Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible | Book Depository

For more info on Jess Rothenberg: Twitter | Website

 

From Goodreads:

Dying of a broken heart is just the beginning…. Welcome to forever.

BRIE’S LIFE ENDS AT SIXTEEN: Her boyfriend tells her he doesn’t love her, and the news breaks her heart—literally.

But now that she’s D&G (dead and gone), Brie is about to discover that love is way more complicated than she ever imagined. Back in Half Moon Bay, her family has begun to unravel. Her best friend has been keeping a secret about Jacob, the boy she loved and lost—and the truth behind his shattering betrayal. And then there’s Patrick, Brie’s mysterious new guide and resident Lost Soul . . . who just might hold the key to her forever after.

With Patrick’s help, Brie will have to pass through the five stages of grief before she’s ready to move on. But how do you begin again, when your heart is still in pieces?

My review:

This is the paperback cover!

This is the paperback cover!

 

The Catastrophic History of You and MeThe Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg

Oh wow, buckle up READERS cause THE CATASTROPHIC HISTORY OF YOU AND ME will take you on a motorcycle ride to heaven and hell like you could never have imagined. When it comes to the afterlife, this book totally rocks. I instantly liked the main character Brie and the supporting characters were so freakin’ interesting and moving that you won’t want to put this novel down. Jess Rothenberg, a former MG/YA editor at a major publishing house, made the switch to YA author. This debute novel is definitely a winner! It is my understanding that Jess got the idea for this book when she read an article about a person who literally died of a broken heart. That’s exactly what happens to Brie. After she passes, she has the five steps of grieving to go through: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Sadness, Acceptance. Trust me, you’ll go through those stages right along with her.
Put this on your must-read list! It’s well worth it.

View all my reviews

Real Book Challenge: Year-to-Date: 91 books & 3 Book (your choice) International Giveaway
Oct 1st, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

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Hosted by Swoon Boys Podcast and Fiction Fare. For more details check out Swoony Boys Podcast

I’ve read some incredible books this year, and I’d like to share them with you. For this entire month, I will run a giveaway.

Here’s a list of the “Real Book Challenge” books I read in September:

The Bridge from Me to You by Lisa Schroeder

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

On the Fence by Kasie West

Stay with Me by J. Lynn

Opposition (Lux #5) by Jennifer Armentrout

One Past Midnight by Jessica Shirvington

Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty by Christine Heppermann

Hook’s Revenge by Heidi Schulz

Vampires of Manhattan by Melissa de la Cruz

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Night Moves by Nora Roberts

Night Shield by Nora Roberts

Nightshade by Nora Roberts

Night Smoke by Nora Roberts

A Beautiful Wedding by Jamie McGuire

 

One lucky winner may select up to 3 books (value not to exceed $30) from my “Real Book Challenge” list. This is INTERNATIONAL, but your Book Depository must deliver to your country. Giveaway ends: October 31, 2014, 12 PM CST.

Take a look at my Real Book Challenge List for books that you may choose from! (It’s my entire list & it will grow throughout this month!

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Book Day Launch: HE’S SO FINE by Jill Shalvis Review & Giveaway
Sep 30th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

Book Day Launch: HE’S SO FINEShalvis_HesSoFine_MM-1

by Jill Shalvis

Review & Giveaway

Buy it here: Barnes & Noble | iBooksIndieBound | Kobo | Google Play | Amazon

Add it to Goodreads

Book Summary:

For Olivia Bentley, Lucky Harbor is more than the town where she runs her new vintage shop. It’s the place where folks are friendly to strangers-and nobody knows her real name. Olivia does a good job of keeping her past buried, not getting too cozy with anyone . . . until she sees a man drowning. Suddenly she’s rushing into the surf, getting up close and personal with the hottest guy she’s ever laid hands on.

Charter boat captain Cole Donovan has no problem with a gorgeous woman throwing her arms around his neck in an effort to “save” him. In fact, he’d like to spend a lot more time skin-to-skin with Olivia. He’s just not expecting that real trouble is about to come her way. Will it bring her deeper into Cole’s heart, or will it be the end of Olivia’s days in little Lucky Harbor?

He's So Fine (Lucky Harbor, #11)My Review by Jill Shalvis

5 of 5 stars

Seriously, Jill Shalvis only gets better and better and better. I am completely addicted to this Lucky Harbor series. Every couple is so different. They have their own issues and challenges to overcome, but within their imperfections, they’re perfect for each other.

That’s exactly how how I felt about Olivia and Cole in HE’S SO FINE. When it comes to their pasts, Cole is an open book and Olivia is as closed as can be. But as they learn to trust and respect each other, they find new ways to be open and honest and to forgive.

Here’s some of the things I loved:

1. The differences between Olivia’s family and Cole’s family. Cole’s is an invasion and loving. Olivia’s is greedy and unloving. The contrast is striking and relatable.
2. Despite being afraid to open herself up to Cole, Olivia does so, and it changes her.
3. Cole embraces a new relationship, despite his fear of getting burned.
4. Cole is loyal and devoted to his family, even though they can be incredibly annoying.
5. Best friends – Cole has Tanner and Sam, who are loyal even when Cole pushes them away. Olivia has Becca, who doesn’t judge and has her back.
6. Challenges – Cole has to face past relationships and deal with the loss of his friend Gil. Plus he jumps at the flick of a lighter or a spark. Olivia hides her past, changed her identity and has to face it.
7. I love what Cole has in all his pockets! Handyman extraordinaire!
8. A swoon-worthy ending!

The entire Lucky Harbor series is a must read for anyone who loves romance novels! Don’t miss any of them!

View all my reviews

Jill’s Bio:

Jill Shalvis author photo_longer length

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

To connect with Jill:

JillShalvis.com | Twitter @jillshalvis | Facebook.com/jillshalvis

 

ENTER TO WIN a print copy of HE’S SO FINE.

http://bit.ly/1o7r75M

 

HOOK’S REVENGE Blog Tour: Guest Post with Author Heidi Schulz — Create a Fairy Garden
Sep 24th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

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Guest Post with Author Heidi Schulz

 Create a Fairy Garden

& Giveaway

 

a0773cdd-90db-4914-a5af-9afe1fe382f5Buy Hook’s Revenge Here:

Powell’s | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Book Depository

About Hook’s Revenge:

Twelve-year-old Jocelyn dreams of becoming every bit as daring as her infamous father, Captain James Hook. Her grandfather, on the other hand, intends to see her starched and pressed into a fine society lady. When she’s sent to Miss Eliza Crumb-Biddlecomb’s Finishing School for Young Ladies, Jocelyn’s hopes of following in her father’s fearsome footsteps are lost in a heap of dance lessons, white gloves, and way too much pink.

So when Jocelyn receives a letter from her father challenging her to avenge his untimely demise at the jaws of the Neverland crocodile, she doesn’t hesitate-here at last is the adventure she has been waiting for. But Jocelyn finds that being a pirate is a bit more difficult than she’d bargained for. As if attempting to defeat the Neverland’s most fearsome beast isn’t enough to deal with, she’s tasked with captaining a crew of woefully untrained pirates, outwitting cannibals wild for English cuisine, and rescuing her best friend from a certain pack of lost children, not to mention that pesky Peter Pan who keeps barging in uninvited.

The crocodile’s clock is always ticking in Heidi Schulz’s debut novel, a story told by an irascible narrator who is both dazzlingly witty and sharp as a sword. Will Jocelyn find the courage to beat the incessant monster before time runs out?

 

About Heidi Schulz:

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Author Heidi Schulz reading HOOK’S REVENGE

Heidi Schulz is a writer, reader, and giraffe suspicioner. She lives in Salem, Oregon with her husband, co-captaining a crew made of their teen daughter, a terrible little dog, and five irascible chickens. Her debut novel for middle grade readers, HOOK’S REVENGE, will be published by Disney•Hyperion on September 16, 2014. A sequel, HOOK’S REVENGE: THE PIRATE CODE, will follow in fall 2015. Bloomsbury Kids will publish her picture book debut, GIRAFFES RUIN EVERYTHING, in 2016.

Website | Twitter  | Facebook  | Goodreads

 Create a Fairy Garden

 

Hi Liza! Thank you for hosting me today! I thought I could talk to your readers a little bit about fairies—specifically the fairies in Hook’s Revenge. Sound good?

I’m sure most of you are familiar with Peter Pan’s fairy, Tinker Bell. Remember in Peter Pan, how Tink almost got Wendy killed because she was so jealous over Peter? Well, I’m sorry to say she hasn’t changed much by the time Jocelyn gets to the Neverland. But she’s not the only lovesick fairy you’ll have a chance to encounter. Wait until you meet Prince Meriwether!

You’ll also get to spend some time at a fairy ball and meet Queen Mab herself. And then there is that whole business with Jocelyn’s fairy wish—but oh, I’m afraid saying more would spoil it for you. Instead, why don’t I show you how to build a fairy garden? Who knows, perhaps you’ll attract a fairy of your very own.

Fairy1

My daughter and I built this particular fairy garden a few years ago. If you would like to make one, here’s how:

Step 1

Find a suitable container. Use a clay pot, planter, sand bucket, or even a ceramic bowl. Think about whether you will want this for indoor or outdoor use and plan according.

Step 2

Fill your container with potting soil, but don’t just make it flat and level. Spend some time adding variety to your landscape. We chose to make a hill and a dry creek bed in ours. If your dirt resists sculpting because it is too dry and powdery, a few sprays with a spray bottle of water will make things easier.

Step 3

If you have made a creek bed, line it with small pebbles. Likewise for any stone paths you may wish to have.

Fairy2

Step 4

Plant your vegetation. We chose to use a small plant purchased at a local nursery and a few weed from the yard. Usually we want to keep weeds out of our gardens, but in this case, they can be really lovely. (Just don’t use anything that will irritate your skin. You might attract a fairy with a prickly attitude.)

Step 5

Cover all remaining dirt with ground cover. We live in Oregon, so moss was an easy choice for us. It can be found abundantly around our yard. If you live in a moss-free zone, perhaps use bark dust, sand, or purchased peet moss.

Step 6

Accessorize! This is the fun part. Look around your yard. What natural materials could you incorporate? We made a stone table with tiny shell dishes, walnut shell and pebble stools, and a shell pond. A bit of red and white paint turned a small rock into a mushroom. Hot glue transformed some twigs into a bridge. The scene is rounded out by a miniature wash line (created from felt, string, and a pair of slender sticks) and a tiny house (purchased for $1.00 at a local craft store).

Fairy3

I’m certain a fairy moved right into our little garden and she was so enamored with it, she completely forgot to bring in the washing. If you happen to make one of your own, I’d love to see it. Tweet me a picture @HeidiSchulz or tag me on Instagram @HeidiSchulzBooks.

And if you do happen to attract a fairy of your own, warn your loved ones to watch out. You never know what kinds of things a jealous fairy may do!

Thanks again! I really appreciate you hosting me!

Note from Liza: Hey, Heidi & awesome readers. It’s truly my pleasure to feature HOOK’S REVENGE on this blog. On a personal note, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Heidi and spending time with her in person. You don’t meet sweet, creative, warm, friendly, vivacious, fun, interesting, bright women like her every day. Not surprising, then, that Heidi wrote such an imaginative, clever MG debut novel. Congrats, Heidi!

Thank you to Disney for providing an ARC of Hook’s Revenge!

Thank you to Hannah McBride of The Irish Banana Review for arranging this blog tour with Disney!

 

Blog Tour Schedule:

9/12-Liza from Reading with ABC

9/15-Nicole from Paperback Princess

9/16-Hannah from The Irish Banana Review

9/17-Katie from Mundie Moms

9/18-Jen from Jenuine Cupcakes

9/19-Gabby from Queen Ella Bee Reads

9/22-Christina from Allodoxophobia

9/23-Amy from Kissed by Ink

9/24-Liza from Who RU Blog

9/25-Jenny from Supernatural Snark

GIVEAWAY (US Only):

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Hook's Revenge (Hook's Revenge, #1)Hook’s Revenge by Heidi Schulz

Take a beloved children’s classic story & continue the tale? Not an easy feat. But then do it exceptionally well, and you get HOOK’S REVENGE by Heidi Schulz.

WOW! This isn’t just a MG novel, this is a novel the entire family can enjoy. Clever and imaginative, Captain Hook and Peter Pan’s story continues in HOOK”S REVENGE! There’s adventure, danger, fun, humor, friendship, family, magic, and of course, the crocodile!

Once again, journey into Neverland. Meet fairies, pirates, and lost boys. Meet Captain Hook’s daughter Joselyn, and go on her quest to slay the crocodile that took her father’s life. Meet her best friend Roger, the horrible girls in her finishing school and Miss Eliza Crumb-Biddlecom, the head mistress. Life isn’t so good for Joselyn, but she manages to get away. That’s when the true adventure begins.

Hook’s Revenge can very well turn into a classic along with its original counterpart, PETER PAN. Boys will love the action, girls will appreciate the strong female character. It’s a fantasy work you’re want to read over and over again.
Highly recommend.



View all my reviews

VAMPIRES OF MANHATTAN by Melissa de la Cruz – Review & Signed Copy Giveaway!
Sep 23rd, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

VAMPIRES OF MANHATTAN19661080

by Melissa de la Cruz

Review & Signed Copy Giveaway! Purchase the book here: IndieBoundAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible | Book Depository

On September 10, 2014 Melissa de la Cruz came to Milwaukee and spoke to a wonderful crowd at the Oak Creek Public Library. Then, a few of us bloggers had the privilege of hanging out with Melissa at her hotel to talk about a wide range of subjects. What can I say except that I am deeply impressed with Melissa’s sense of humor, perseverance, dedication to her craft, and her accomplishments. She grew up with supportive parents, but they didn’t quite expect that she would actually go after her dream and become a published author. But she did! And what a success she has become! It may look like it’s been easy, but it’s been quite the journey for Melissa. She had books rejected and had worked for six months on the TV pilot for the Blue Bloods Series, only to have the studio say no. That was six months of working for ZERO dollars! Nada.

But . . . good things did happen!

Melissa’s  WITCHES OF EAST END series turned into a series on Lifetime. (I love the show!)

My deepest thanks to Daniel at Boswell Book Company for arranging the event and to Cassie Mandel at Hachette for the Meet & Greet, the review copy as well as the SIGNED giveaway copy that I get to share with YOU!

To connect with Melissa de la Cruz: Goodreads | Twitter | Website

From Goodreads:

The Vampires of Manhattan is “hipster horror”–the memorable characters from her Blue Bloods series are older and cooler than before, trying to build “Millennial” lives in the bustle of Manhattan while battling forces of evil and, of course, each other.

Hero of this sexy, paranormal action tale is Oliver Hazard-Perry, former human conduit, and Manhattan’s only human-turned-vampire, now the head of the Blue Bloods Coven. When his all-too-human lover is found murdered on the eve of the coven’s annual Four Hundred Ball–a celebration meant to usher in a new era in vampire society, and to mark the re-unification of the Coven after decades of unrest and decay–Oliver is devastated.

Now, not only is he trying to create a new world order for the immortal elite, he’s the prime suspect and is stalked by the newly installed head of the vampire secret police. Because according to the new rules, vampires who take human life can now be executed. Burned.

How can an immortal sentenced to die fight back? He has to find the killer–and the answers lie deep in vampire lore.

My Review:

Vampires of Manhattan (The New Blue Bloods Coven, #1)Vampires of Manhattan by Melissa de la Cruz

Thank you, Hachette Books, for the review copy and on my blog – readers have a chance to win a SIGNED COPY! through October 13, 2014, 11:59 PM CST. http://wp.me/pAaOH-SO

The cover: Gorgeous! Perfect! Definitely does exactly what a cover should do: peak your interest and create a desire to find out more!

Never read the Blue Bloods Series? Don’t worry! You can start with VAMPIRES OF MANHATTAN and follow along beautifully. The novel is geared to New Adults/Adults. It’s for anyone who appreciates great world building, fantasy, vampires, or outstanding storytelling. The characters jump off the page and keep you guessing. Kingsley happens to be one of my favorites.

The Blue Bloods won the war and are celebrating their victory of Lucifer. But wait . . . someone is killing young adults girls and burning or painting pentagrams all over Manhattan. Alarm bells sound for the soon-to-be Regis Oliver and his human female familiar Finn, who is planning the Four Hundred Ball to commemorate the victory. Someone wants to stop the celebration. Venator Ara Scott is on the case to find out who. I love Ara. She’s a strong, flawed character, struggling to make a difference and keep Manhattan peaceful. Maybe someday, she’ll do more than kick some major butt. Maybe she’ll find love?

I love the mystery and surprises of this novel. For Blue Bloods fans, you’ll be thrilled with the continuation of the series. For people who love to read NA, you’ll gobble up this sophisticated book geared toward you. It has a plot that will have you hooked and begging for the next book in the series.

VAMPIRES OF MANHATTAN is a page-turner. I can’t wait for more.

View all my reviews

One lucky winner will receive a SIGNED copy of VAMPIRES OF MANHATTAN (US Only)

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