Sunday, January 31, 2016

Lazy, Rainy Days

Today, it's raining here in 'sunny' Southern California. I love the rain. It washes away all the pollen, pollution, and foul tastes of the senseless maniacs driving the streets of California. Do I sound like I hate it here? If so, let me clear that up. I don't. I love California. The people? I could do without a few.

But that's not why I'm blogging today. 

It's raining. I love to hear the musical tones of rain splashing into already formed puddles. The cleansing scent is reminiscent of a peaceful, lazy day at a lake in the mountains.

Rainy days give me (us?) an opportunity to stay indoors and get caught up on life's little to-do lists that I keep putting off. Like cleaning ceiling fans and doing laundry. Okay, that's the yuck part.

But, I also get to blog, like now. These random nonsensical words I put into a blog post. Next (after checking laundry again), I'll go back to penning my 3rd book in the Other Side series: The Other Side: Ben's Story. If you have no idea what the Other Side series is, you can always find the books here: Melinda and Trent are in a world of hurt in Ben's Story. They don't know it yet, but paranormal fatalities become parts of their worlds.

At any rate, back to my rain rants. Days like today allow me (us?) to feel anew as the droplets wash away my stressful days. All week, my brain functions analytically. Weekends, I use the other side of my brain creatively. It's a great balance, even though more time is spent pouring over legal musings instead of fictional ones.

So, today, Ben is beckoning me. I bid you adieu now. Apparently, the paranormal world is waiting to exact its 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Release of The Other Side: Trent's Story is HERE!

You can see my first stop on my blog tour here:

I hope you all take a look, leave comments and/or support me. Thank you and enjoy!

For those who haven't seen the trailer, here is the link: Be sure your speakers are on! 

If you're interested in purchasing it, here's the link where you can get it: Starr Gardinier : The Wild Rose Press, Inc.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Press Release

For Release immediately
“The Other Side: Trent’s Story”

Starr Gardinier in conjunction with The Wild Rose Press announces the availability of “The Other Side: Trent’s Story”
Available for purchase on January 22, 2016

Sherman Oaks, CA— “The Other Side: Trent’s Story”Today, The Wild Rose Press announced availability of “The Other Side: Trent’s Story”, enabling readers of the paranormal and suspense to purchase their copies.

“One of those rare paranormal thrillers that challenges as it entertains...a wondrous, chilling tale...supremely and masterfully crafted, and elegantly written...,” said Jon Land, author of “Pandora’s Temple.”

“The Other Side: Trent’s Story” Availability

“The Other Side: Trent’s Story” is a paranormal/suspense and is part of the Other Side series. Starr is committed to delivering to her readers entertaining stories, and “The Other Side: Trent’s Story” is the second in the series. It is available for electronic download or paperback purchase at or

The Other Side series and “The Other Side: Trent’s Story” are copyrighted in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

For more information, press only:

The Wild Rose Press
Lisa Dawn 
Email contact preferred 

For more information on “The Other Side: Trent’s Story”:

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Review: Live Wire

Live Wire Live Wire by Harlan Coben
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

View all my reviews

Review: Destiny

Destiny Destiny by Casi McLean
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Casi McLean does it again. While she wrote “Beneath the Lake” first, I read it last. It doesn’t matter as they’re not connected. The Destiny Series will wow you! Every story I read, I wanted more. Then I’d get into the next story and want more again. Every story in this series will enthrall you. When I finished, I…that’s right…wanted more. There are five wonderful novelettes here.

I would love to see Casi write more of these tales. They’re heartwarming, ethereal, paranormal and romantic all rolled into a series that’s well-written, entertaining and charming. I don’t have enough good things to say about this series. All I can say is, if you haven’t read this yet, you should. There’s one story, “The Gift” that is appropriately named. Casi’s words themselves are gifts to readers of all genres.

Casi McLean is on my watch list. Whatever she publishes, I’ll read. She is definitely and up-and-coming tale weaver.

Reviewed by Starr Gardiner, author of “The Other Side: Melinda’s Story,” part of the Other Side series

View all my reviews

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Book Review: "Crazy About You" by Katie O'Sullivan

"Crazy About You" by Katie O’Sullivan

I love romance. I love suspense. “Crazy About You” has both. Katie does a magnificent job weaving love and murder together. A cozy, this novel will have your cheering on the protagonist and worrying about if the protagonist will be around long enough to enjoy the romance coming her way.

Emma comes home from New York to Provincetown to visit, but it’s not long before she’s had enough and goes back to New York. But before leaving Provincetown she literally bumps into a stranger. Chase Anderson is in town for his research he’s doing and doesn’t plan on staying long.

Back in New York, Emma is called back to Provincetown to run her mother’s bead store while her parents are away taking care of her brother Sean after emergency surgery.

Chase ends up having to stay longer in Provincetown that he initially anticipated. Before you know it, Emma and Chase spend more and more time together. But Emma’s friend from New York, Tony, doesn’t like it. His cousin Vito reports back to Tony that he spotted Emma out with Chase. He tells her to stop dating, that it doesn’t look good for him. When Emma defends herself and relationship, telling Tony that they were only friends, not a couple, Tony makes Vito apologize to Emma.

Vito ends up dead. Emma refuses to believe Tony had anything to do with it. Is she that na├»ve? Doesn’t she realize who Tony really is? And why should she stop dating Chase just because people think she and Tony are a couple? What is really going on? It’s rumored to be mob-related. Is it true?

So many questions and I will not answer a single one. This is a book you have to read to find out. Katie will draw you in like she did to me. You won’t stop until you’ve reached the end. Very enjoyable.

Reviewed by Starr Gardinier, author of “The Other Side: Melinda’s Story”

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Review: Asylum Harbor

Asylum Harbor Asylum Harbor by Isla Grey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"Asylum Harbor" by Isla Grey

Entertaining and well-written. Those are the first two descriptions I can say for Isla’s book, but not the only ones. Terrific comes to mind, as well.

Devon Brown is one strong protagonist. She still believes in relationships, even after some past ones filled with drama. Moving to Shell Island to escape her family, Devon finds herself bartending and staying with an old crotchety woman. The bartending was okay, but the old lady? Not so much.

If Devon thought her past relationships with family and friends were hard, little did she know that the ones in Shell Island would be just as challenging, especially her new-found romance with Kerr. Victoria is a dancer at the bar where Devon works. Let’s just say Victoria doesn’t particularly care for Devon and it only gets worse when Victoria finds out that Devon and Kerr are romantically involved.

It’s one battle after another for Devon, but love wins out in the end. A great read and a must have!

Reviewed by Starr Gardinier, author of “The Other Side: Melinda’s Story”

View all my reviews

Friday, October 2, 2015


Join us for our Facebook Launch Party on October 3, 2015 between 10 am and 1 pm PST. Authors appearing will be:
  • Starr Gardinier, author of "The Other Side: Melinda's Story"
  • Debra Doggett, author of "Bone of my Bones"
  • Susan Edwards, author of "Red and her big bad Dom"
  • Abigail Owen, author of "Blue Violet"
  • Peggy Jaeger, author of "First Impressions"
  • Sharon Saracino, author of "Her Executive Protector"
  • Lida Sideris, author of "Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters"
  • Casi McLean, author of "Hearts Akilter"
  • Devon McKay, author of "Cowboy on the Run"
  • Kayden Claremont, author of "Timeless Passion"
  • Maureen Bonatch, author "Grandma Must Die"

Simply go to: and join. It's FREE and you could be a lucky winner of a prize or prizes! Each author will be giving away something.

I will be giving away a FREE DIGITAL copy of "The Other Side: Melinda's Story." 

Can't wait to see everyone there!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Review of "Beneath the Lake"

I couldn’t put “Beneath the Lake” by Casi McLean down. Warning! If you don’t have time to sit down and read, don’t pick this book up. Seriously, it grabbed me from sentence one and you won’t want to put this book down and go back to work.

Innocently, Piper invites her best friend Lacey to a party. At the party, Lacey finds her boyfriend Cole in the arms of another woman. Dashing from the party, she rushes out into a storm and ends up crashing her car.

It’s when she wakes us her journey begins. It’s a voyage beyond one’s imagination. Lacey has always had issues with trust and love, stemming from the death of her mother. She seems to constantly pick the wrong man. Cole quickly becomes a bad memory when Lacey meets (again?) her true soulmate.

I really don’t want to say much more about the story for fear of ruining it for the reader. Suffice it to say, Lacey goes on a fantastical trip, bringing the reader with her. I will say however, it’s history in the making.

Can I give it ten stars? Most reviews are up to five stars, but it’s not enough for this book. Casi has such amazing talent that I’m breaking the mold and giving her 10 STARS. I absolutely recommend this book!

Reviewed by Starr Gardiner, author of “The Other Side: Melinda’s Story,” part of the Other Side series

We have another winner!

And we have another WINNER! Maureen Bonatch just won an ebook of "The Other Side: Melinda's Story". Yay, Maureen!

Other opportunities will arise for others to win. Just keep watching my posts of where I'll be for my BLOG HOP. I post on Twitter and Facebook. Facebook: and Twitter:

Author Peggy Jaeger has a new Release TODAY!

Peggy Jaeger holds a master's degree in Nursing Administration and first found publication with several articles she authored on Alzheimer's Disease during her time running an Alzheimer's in-patient care unit during the 1990s. 

In 2013, she placed first in two categories in the Dixie Kane Memorial Contest: Single Title Contemporary Romance and Short/Long Contemporary Romance.Peggy is a contemporary romance author who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can't live without them. 

Her current titles, available now, include "Skater's Waltz" and "There's no Place Like Home," books one and two in her six-book The MacQuire Women Series, published by The Wild Rose Press.

Tying into her love of families, her children's book, " The Kindness Tales," was illustrated by her artist mother-in-law.

A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.
But today, we're here to talk about her latest release, "First Impressions." This is RELEASED TODAY! Here's a little about the book:

Family Practice Doctor Clarissa Rogers’s first impression of Padric Cleary is biased and based on gossip. The handsome, charming veterinarian is considered a serial dater and commitment-phobic by his family and most of the town. Relationship shy, Clarissa refuses to lose her heart to a man who can’t pledge himself to her forever.

Pat Cleary, despite his reputation, is actually looking for The One. When he does give his heart away, he wants it to be for life. With his parent’s marriage as his guidebook, he wants a woman who will be his equal and soul mate in every way. Can Pat convince everyone – including Clarissa – she’s the only woman for him?

Get your copy now!

Available on September 23, 2015, but you can pre-order: 

Disclaimer: Unless specifically stated on any feature posted, QueenWriter News has not read or reviewed a feature book.

If you're an author and would like to be featured on QueenWriter News, email

Happy Reading!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Review: Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base

Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base by Annie Jacobsen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Very informative. It has a lot of information I hadn't heard about. I recommend this to anyone who's interested in the goings-on at Area 51.

View all my reviews

Winner Selected!

LUCKY WINNER HAS BEEN SELECTED! I appeared on Peggy Yaeger's blog yesterday giving away a free ebook of "The Other Side: Melinda's Story." A winner was selected. Help me congratulate Hebby Roman! There are more opportunities coming up for you to win. Just keep checking out my posts on Facebook and/or Twitter. [Hint: Monday the 21st is the next giveaway!]

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Who is Melinda James? A Character Interview

First, I have to say that you will want to read this entire posting. There's an unveiling below. And don't skip to the end just to see it!

I've been posting and tweeting and facebooking about Melinda James. I'm getting emails from people--some I know, others I don't--asking who is Melinda James? To answer that question, I've brought Melinda James here today. She will answer the question and give you some enlightening information about why you should get to know her. In my opinion--I am her creator--she's an enigma. Yes, even to me.

So, without further ado, let me introduce you to Melinda James:

QueenWriter (QW): Melinda, I've been asked by several people who you are. Can you please tell everyone?

Melinda James (MJ): I was created by Starr Gardinier. I'm simply a fictional character.

QW: There must be more you can tell your readers.

MJ: There's a lot I can tell you. Okay, I'll give you a glimpse into my life. That should more than explain why I've been breathed into existence.

As you know, my name is Melinda James. My childhood growing up was pretty typical. That is, until I reach my teenage years. That's when everything started going downhill. I know some of the first things you're thinking are typical teenage problems: zits, too fat, other kids making fun, bullies. God, how I wish that's all it was. 

My problems started and ended with death. Not mine, mind you, but some people very close to me. It's a wonder I didn't end up in an insane asylum. Oh wait...I did. Well, to put it simply, death made me crazy. At least, that's what everyone thought. Was I crazy? Am I still crazy?

QW: Are you?

MJ: Crazy? No. At least, my best friends Beth ad Trent say I'm not. Even Felicity sees how normal I am. Then again, Dr. Leever might argue with those assumptions.

Anyway, to tell you who I really am, we have to go back in time to when I was thirteen....


I tried to tell them it was going to happen, but nobody would listen. They all said I was just having bad dreams, or that I was crazy.

It started at my father’s funeral. It’s been so long since it first began, about eight years ago. Sometimes though, it seems like yesterday. My father was there. No, I don’t mean just in the casket. He was there. He talked to me, begged me to tell Mom that we all needed to run and hide. He said we were all in danger.

I asked him why he didn’t tell Mom himself. He said he tried, but she wasn’t listening. I heard him fine. But I didn’t believe him. Why would we be in danger? We can’t just up and leave. My friends are all here in Beaumont. When I told him that, he said it was important, that it was a matter of life and death. He seemed so worried, but I was so confused, I blew him off.

I guess when it first happened I didn’t pay any heed to his warning. We went on with our lives. Mom was grief stricken, my brother Kyle was in his own world playing videos and I was trying to shut my father out of my mind. Was I going crazy? What was wrong with me? Dad was dead, but I could still see and hear him.

If I tell you the story, will you believe me?


QW: Wait. So you're saying your father was dead and he talked to you from the grave?

MJ: From the grave, from wherever. He called it the "Other Side."

QW: Have you been to this "Other Side?"

MJ: Now, you're jumping the gun. I'll answer and say yes, but it's Trent who will tell you that story later on. Starr created him, too and you'll read about him in "The Other Side: Trent's Story." It would be an injustice to Trent to try and explain him to you. Talk about an enigma. I'm like an open book, pun intended, whereas Trent...well, let's just say, Starr really crossed to the "Other Side" to create him.

QW; Is there anything else you can tell us?

MJ: I would love to, but I can't. Starr would be very upset if I told you everything. Just read "The Other Side: Melinda's Story" and you'll have your answers.

QW: Thank you for joining us today, Melinda. It was nice speaking with you.

If you want to know even more about Melinda James, click on any of the links below:

Starting tomorrow, September 18, 2015, you'll be so engrossed in Melinda's Story, you'll be begging to read Trent's, which is due out soon.

Now for the unveiling

Drum roll please...

That cover even scares me! The artist at Wild Rose Press did a fantastic job!

And by the way, you guys are the very first to see "The Other Side: Trent's Story" cover art unveiled!

Please comment and answer these simple questions:

1. Are you ready to read Melinda James's story? Did you pre-order?
2. Are you curious yet about what Trent might have to say? Would you like to be put on a list where I can email you when I get Trent's release date?

You can send me  your email privately at, but please do comment here. 


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Today, QueenWriter is Bringing Author Isla Grey to You

Please help me welcome author Isla Grey

Isla Grey is from Central Virginia and still lives in the same small town she grew up in. She developed a love of writing at an early age and over the years has tried her hand at penning poetry (some good, some not so good), screenwriting, newspaper articles, and historical stories. She’s “old school” when it comes to writing and is a hoarder of more pens, post-it notes and writing journals than she’ll ever need. Isla likes to write different types of stories from romance to mystery and anything in between and loves a “happy for now but there could be some bad things coming” feel. 

When Isla’s not writing, she spends her time being called “Mom, Mama, Mommy” (well, you get the picture) by her daughter who is forever active, even in her sleep. She considers herself an unofficial “cat whisperer” and is a pet human to a plethora of cats that have taken up residence at her home over the years. Isla also enjoys reading a good biography or ghost story, traveling even though “there’s no place like home”, good music played loud, and walking. Isla loves movies and is the movie mistakes editor at where she talks about…well…movies.  

Her novella, “A Voice in the Dark”, is available now and her book, “Asylum Harbor”, will be released September 16th, 2015 through Wild Rose Press. "Asylum Harbor" is book one in her Salty Dog series.

But don't let me tell you about her latest work. Just watch this: 

“Still Waters Run Deep”

Trouble is the last thing Devon Brown needs when she leaves the painful memories of her past behind and heads to Shell Island. As the Salty Dog’s new bartender, she finds herself drawn to Kerr, the Shell Island harbormaster. But finding her happily-ever-after is difficult when dealing with an obnoxious bootlegger who supplies the bar with illegal liquor and a jealous coworker.

A standoffish loner with damaged emotions, Kerr avoids relationships like the plague. Things change when Devon catches his eye. As a simple flirtation grows serious, the coworker and bootlegger quickly become obstacles to any future Kerr and Devon may have together. As the situation worsens, Devon realizes that even the still waters of Asylum Harbor are no refuge during a storm.

Here's an Excerpt

“You already got dibs on this one Kerr?”
Porter shot an evil glare at the opposite end of the bar and looked back toward her.  “I’ll see you tonight.”  He flicked his tongue.  “After work.”  He raised his glass in a mock toast and chugged it in one gulp.
          The lights dimmed for Victoria’s dance of the night.  Devon watched Kerr, who was usually headed for the exit by now, and breathed a sigh of relief when he remained glued to his seat with his back to the stage.  He wasn’t staying for Victoria’s peep show.  There must have been something about this Porter character that got under his skin in a bad way.
          Devon was eager for the quick break.  She hustled to the back as the chords to “Simply Irresistible” began to pelt over the speakers and ran some cold water over her forearm.  A red welt was beginning to show where Porter had held onto it.  She hoped he would be gone by the time she got back.
          Making it out before mid-song, Devon rounded the bar when someone snagged her wrist and thrust her hard against the bar, knocking the wind out of her.  She could smell Porter’s alcohol-laced breath as his weight pinned her under him.  One of his grubby hands shot under her shirt while the other wrestled with the button on her pants.  “Let’s give them a real show.”
          She struggled to reach the Equalizer, but it remained hidden, out of her grasp.  Devon hoisted her knee toward his crotch, but Porter lost his balance and fell backward before she could make contact.
          Kerr towered over him.  “Get your hands off her.”


Amazon UK:

Barnes & Noble:

You can connect with Isla at:

Thanks so much, Isla, for your time!

Disclaimer: Unless specifically stated on any feature posted, QueenWriter News has not read or reviewed a feature book.

If you're an author and would like to be featured on QueenWriter News, email

Happy Reading!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Review: The Incidental Spy

The Incidental Spy The Incidental Spy by Libby Fischer Hellmann
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"The Incidental Spy" by Libby Fischer Hellmann

This is not your typical spy novel but one that engages and engrosses the reader from beginning to end.

Even though bound by love for a man she’ll never have, Lena is sent to Chicago to live with her aunt to escape 1935 Nazi Germany. After some time, she falls in love with another, but never forgets her first love. Unfortunately, soon after having a baby, her husband is killed and Lena is left alone to raise their child. She’s financially strapped and needs to do what she has to in order to provide for and protect her son.

This is a look into Lena’s life when she’s forced to become a spy. This book will have you spellbound and Lena is anything but an ‘incidental spy.’ When the truth is revealed, it will leave you speechless.

I commend Hellmann on a well-written, intriguing novel. I highly recommend it.

Reviewed by Starr Gardinier, author of the Other Side Series

View all my reviews

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Come Meet Author Andrea Downing

I am pleased to bring to you author Andrea Downing and her latest work: "Loveland," a western historical romance. 

When Lady Alexandra Calthorpe returns to the Loveland, Colorado, ranch owned by her father, the Duke, she has little idea of how the experience will alter her future. Headstrong and willful, Alex tries to overcome a disastrous marriage in England and be free of the strictures of Victorian society -- and become independent of men. That is, until Jesse Makepeace saunters back into her life...

Hot-tempered and hot-blooded cowpuncher Jesse Makepeace can’t seem to accept that the child he once knew is now the ravishing yet determined woman before him. Fighting rustlers proves a whole lot easier than fighting Alex when he’s got to keep more than his temper under control.

Arguments abound as Alex pursues her career as an artist and Jesse faces the prejudice of the English social order. The question is, will Loveland live up to its name?


The light was failing and the birds were settling with their evening calls. Somewhere in the pasture a horse nickered. She sensed Jesse was there, watching, but she never turned as he stood at the fence. She heard him climb over and ease up behind her. He took the coiled rope from her in his left hand and slid his right hand over hers on the swing end, almost forcing her backward into his arms.

She thought of paintings and statues she had seen, imagining his naked arms now, how the muscles would form them into long oblique curves, how he probably had soft downy fair hair on his forearms, how his muscle would slightly bulge as he bent his arm. His voice was soft in her ear, and she could feel his breath on her neck like a whispered secret.
“Gentle-like, right to left, right to left to widen the noose, keep your eye on the post—are you watchin’ where we’re goin’?”

He made the throw and pulled in the rope to tighten the noose. Alex stood there, his hand still entwined with hers and, for a moment, she wished they could stand like that forever. Then she took her hand away and faced him. For a second he rested his chin on the top of her head, then straightened again and went to get the noose off the post while coiling in the rope. She looked up at him in the fading light and saw nothing but kindness in his face, simplicity and gentleness that was most inviting. A smile spread across her face as he handed her the coiled rope and sauntered away, turning once to look back at her before he opened the gate. Emptiness filled her like a poisoned vapor seeking every corner of her being, and she stood with the rope in her hand listening to the ring of his spurs as his footsteps retreated. 

Born in New York, Andrea Downing returned in 2008 from the UK where she lived for most of her life. Having traveled extensively throughout Europe, Africa and Latin America, she now divides her time between NYC and the east end of Long Is., punctuated by frequent journeys out west---the area of the USA she loves best. Her first book, "Loveland," was a finalist for the 2012 RONE Award for Best American Historical and is soon to be re-released by Amazon Encore. Her 2013 short story, "Lawless Love," was also a finalist for the RONE Award as well as the International Digital Awards. "Dearest Darling," a novella, part of The Wild Rose Press Love Letters series, won ‘Favorite Hero’ along with Honorable Mentions for Favorite Heroine, Short Story and Novel in the Maple Leaf Awards. It has also won The Golden Quill Award for Best Novella. "Dances of the Heart," another full length novel, came out February, 2015.  

You can find more about her at: 

Twitter:  @andidowning

You can purchase "Loveland" at: 

Here are some review snippets: 

"Andrea Downing has crafted a masterpiece with Loveland. Her fast-paced romantic western keep readers wondering how the story can ever be resolved...Downing is a strong writer who has written a worthy premiere novel. She handles romantic scenes with flair while showing the nitty-gritty of ranch life in the 1880s. Loveland is packed with action and emotion, leaving the reader wanting more. Loveland is one of those books I hated to have end. A hands-down five-star novel."  Mary E. Trimble,  Captivating Stories from the American West to West Africa

"…Great storytelling! Even though the happy ending is a given, the journey was much more satisfying because of the snappy dialogue, the pivotal plotting, and the realistic progression of Alex and Jesse's emotional connection. I'm happy to give this book Five Stars!
Lynda Coker, Between the Pages

"Andrea Downing does a very good job of depicting the hard life on a ranch in the late 1800´s as well as the struggles of a high-society woman to gain independence. I like the authors descriptive style and the pace throughout the book is very high, with one dramatic event after the other unfolding...The author does a good job in adding a lot of interesting historical detail and a fun group of supporting characters to give this classic romantic story more depth. I would recommend Loveland for lovers of romance and historical fiction enthusiasts." --Daniella, The TBR Pile

Thank you, Andrea, for allowing QueenWriter to portray such a wonderful author.

Disclaimer: Unless specifically stated on any feature posted, QueenWriter News has not read or reviewed a feature book.
If you're an author and would like to be featured on QueenWriter News, email

Happy Reading!

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