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Ask An Author, Win A Book Corner > AC:Tamara Leigh of Southern Discomfort series (July 6 - July 8)

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message 1: by Fran, Moderator (last edited Jul 06, 2011 12:46PM) (new)

Fran | 10999 comments Tamara Leigh, an Inspirational Romance author; will be joining us for a Q&A and book giveaway on July 6- July 8, 2011.


Meet Tamara: Tamara Leigh is the best-selling author of Perfecting Kate and Stealing Adda, and in 2008, Splitting Harriet was awarded the ACFW Book of the Year award. Tamaras first seven novels were written for the secular market and earned awards and became national bestsellers, but she was dissatisfied that the stories were not God-honoring.

In 2003, she determined to write books that more directly represented her faith. After struggling with the certainty her writing was not honoring God as it should, she made the decision to write books that not only reveal Christianity to non-believers, but serve as an inspiration for those who have accepted Christ as their Savior. Her inspirational romances are peopled with characters in varying stages of Christian faith, from mature believers to new believers to non-believers on the threshold of awakening.

Tamara and her husband, David, live with their two sons in Tennessee.




http://www.tamaraleigh.com





Books: Splitting Harriet  by Tamara Leigh Faking Grace by Tamara Leigh Perfecting Kate by Tamara Leigh Leaving Carolina A Novel (Southern Discomfort, #1) by Tamara Leigh Stealing Adda by Tamara Leigh Nowhere, Carolina A Novel by Tamara Leigh Saxon Bride by Tamara Leigh Warrior Bride by Tamara Leigh Virgin Bride by Tamara Leigh Blackheart by Tamara Leigh Pagan Bride by Tamara Leigh Unforgotten (Timeswept) by Tamara Leigh Restless in Carolina A Novel (Southern Discomfort) by Tamara Leigh Misbegotten by Tamara Leigh



Giveaway: 1 copy each of Tamara Leigh's Southern Discomfort series. Only open to US Residents.


message 2: by Rossy (new)

Rossy (naughtybookjunkie) | 2192 comments Welcome Tamara, it's a pleasure to have you with us!

I hope you enjoy your time with our members; and good luck to you all!

GUIDELINES FOR AUTHOR AND PARTICIPANTS: http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/3...

Members, if you can please write the questions in bold; it would be easier for her to know that you have asked a questions and less chance that it will be missed. Thanks!


message 3: by Desiree (new)

Desiree reilly (desitheblonde) | 37 comments the books you have sound great were did the cover come form and why are they not rated higher


message 4: by Keisha (new)

Keisha (keisha28) | 22 comments Who are some of your favorite authors out now? What is your favorite book?


message 5: by Edward (new)

Edward Creter (httpwwwedcoolcom) | 277 comments Carroll wrote: "I find people who believe in God somewhat fascinating. Most in part because, to believe in something unproven requires a great deal of faith. When I was growing up, the doors to relgion were all op..."

Dear Carroll, I have had a spiritual odyssey like yours yet fairly unique. I taught myself to read the New Testament at age 7 or 8, and have grown to appreciate the message of God's Love for his people. Since then I have had interesting challenges to my faith altho' the one about aliens coming to earth as God's Angels is slightly new, and, like most around the world, I wish for the return of ET and choose not to see Cowboys and Aliens or anything that would stigmatize alien beings. (But that's me.) In my odyssey there have been curveballs, such as: The DaVinci Code (obviously) which has done a lot of damage to Jesus' Street Cred. Even the film Footloose, where a man of Christian faith standing against rock music and finds (s'prise!) he is no match against the kids' need to express themselves thru dance, has an anti-christian tone to it, and, like Rev. Moore of the movie, I have a burdened heart on what my faith truly is and where my stance should be. I still have faith in God, yes, and I suspect I always will, but my outlook on things in re. to the Bible and all I enjoyed from it, has changed, for if the Bible is false (Noah's Ark, King David, Abraham etc.) then so is "Love your enemies" or "Love your neighbor as yourself". I firmly believe GOD IS LOVE--period, end of discussion, and my prayer is that you'll find His love for yourself, minus the "brain-washing". Thanks for reading this message and Lovalways.


message 6: by Teri (new)

Teri Jackson (terbear) | 208 comments Welcome Tamara ^-^

1.Were did you get the Idea for your "Southern Discomfort series"?

2. What was your favorite book when you were little?


message 7: by Lena (new)

Lena (lenasledge) | 1 comments Was it difficult writing the book with Christ as a centered theme, without feeling like you may offend some people or not reach a wider base because of it?


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Hello Tamara,

Nice to meet you. Hoping you had a nice holiday.

Was it difficult to go from writing secular to writing you passion, Christianity?

While writing secular stories, did you struggle with the Christanity side of your writing?

Has your target audience changed since going from one genre to another? Do you have the same reading audience?

Which do you see more of, the purchse of your secular books or your christanity books? Or are they equal in purchase?

I commend you for the shift. Continue to write what you love. Your passion is guiding you.


message 9: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Leigh (tamaraleigh) | 24 comments Rossy wrote: "Welcome Tamara, it's a pleasure to have you with us!

I hope you enjoy your time with our members; and good luck to you all!

GUIDELINES FOR AUTHOR AND PARTICIPANTS: http://www.goodreads.com/topic/..."


Thank you, Rossy. It's good to be here.


message 10: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Leigh (tamaraleigh) | 24 comments Desiree wrote: "the books you have sound great were did the cover come form and why are they not rated higher"

Hi Desiree,
I hope the books are great :) and, of course, would love for the ratings to be higher on goodreads. Maybe Restless in Carolina will have better results. As for its cover, it was designed by my publisher, Waterbrook Multnomah, a division of RandomHouse. I love it--one of my better covers if not my best.


message 11: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Leigh (tamaraleigh) | 24 comments Keisha wrote: "Who are some of your favorite authors out now? What is your favorite book?"

Quite a few favorite authors. I recently discovered the wonderful Ann Patchett (yes, I'm a bit of a slow learner). I also treasure books by Joshilyn Jackson, Lesley Kagen, Sarah Addison Allen, Jasper FForde, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Joanne Harris, and Jane Austen. As for a favorite...too many to choose from!


message 12: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Leigh (tamaraleigh) | 24 comments Carroll wrote: "I find people who believe in God somewhat fascinating. Most in part because, to believe in something unproven requires a great deal of faith. When I was growing up, the doors to relgion were all op..."

Hi Carroll, your question is a good one and, I hope, my answer is as near equal to it as possible. Growing up, I was exposed to Christianity, but in such a hypocritical way that I was discouraged from belief in a supreme being. In fact, it was only my mother's quiet encouragement that allowed me to retain the smallest vestige of faith. It wasn't until I met my husband that I ventured near Christianity on my own. I did so with trepidation, but over the years have allowed that dust particle of faith to blossom into something greater. I'm nowhere near perfect, nor are the fellow Christians, pastors, or churches that have showed me the love of Jesus. Whew! That's probably more than you were looking for.

In answer to your question about the beings in the Bible, I do believe they were angels. Why? Faith. It probably sounds too simple a reason, but I believe the best answers are often the simplest--within one's grasp if only they will reach.

I hope your evening is restful.


message 13: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Leigh (tamaraleigh) | 24 comments Julia wrote: "Hi Tamara:

How are you doing today? I have a two-part question.

What made you decide to change the focus of your writing, from “secular” romance to Christian romance….and was that a good move for..."


Hi Julia! It's been a very busy day, but I think it went well.

Now for your question. Though I wrote seven historical romances in the secular market and, as my faith grew, infused my Christian beliefs into the stories (as much as my publishers would allow), I began to feel they were lacking--that they didn't honor God as much as they should. Thus, I made the switch to the inspirational market in hopes of not only inspiring those who have accepted Christ but also revealing Christianity to non-believers. Was it a good move? Financially, no, since the market is much smaller. But spiritually, definitely YES. I believe I'm where God wants me.


message 14: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Leigh (tamaraleigh) | 24 comments Teri wrote: "Welcome Tamara ^-^

1.Were did you get the Idea for your "Southern Discomfort series"?

2. What was your favorite book when you were little?"


The idea for the "Southern Discomfort" series began with my relocation to Tennessee from Nevada. My parents are originally from the South, and though I grew up with tales of the cultural differences, it wasn't until I immersed myself in my new surroundings that I came to appreciate the unique setting and charm. Being a writer, I wanted to share my wonderful discoveries with readers, and so the Pickwick family from the fictional town of Pickwick, North Carolina (modeled after my parents' little hometown) came into being.

Favorite book when I was little? Several, but Pippi Longstocking and Misty of Chinconteague come immediately to mind.


message 15: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Leigh (tamaraleigh) | 24 comments Lena wrote: "Was it difficult writing the book with Christ as a centered theme, without feeling like you may offend some people or not reach a wider base because of it?"

When I decided to transition from the mainstream market to the inspirational market, I accepted that my reader base would shrink. What I didn't expect, but have since adjusted to as best as possible, was that some readers, unaware of my move to the inspirational market, would be offended. Fortunately, most who object to the inclusion of my faith in my books have been civil. Unfortunately, sometimes their ratings reflect their feelings about my character's beliefs. But it can't be helped :)


message 16: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Leigh (tamaraleigh) | 24 comments Jeane' Elliott wrote: "Hello Tamara,

Nice to meet you. Hoping you had a nice holiday.

Was it difficult to go from writing secular to writing you passion, Christianity?

While writing secular stories, did you struggl..."


Hi Jeane,

Thank you for your kind and encouraging words--and I hope your Independence Day was a lovely as mine. I've recently answered some of your questions in other members' messages, so let's see about the rest.

While writing my secular books, I did struggle with including my growing faith in my stories, especially when editors took me to task and for references to Christianity. I believed that, since my stories were set in the medieval period when faith was an everyday part of life, there was a place for it. Not so, according to my New York publishers. In fact, I was asked to cut 30,000 words from my fifth book, Misbegotten which was set during the time of the black plague. I still mourn the loss of those words and scenes that made the book and the heroine's journey complete.

As for my reading audience, there has been a big shift. I believe this is, in part, a result of the five years between my last secular book and my first inspirational book and, in other part, due to the change in genres (secular v. inspirational/medieval v. contemporary).

Lastly, though my inspirational books seem to be doing well, the secular definitely sold more. But I'm at a very good place now.

Have a lovely evening.


message 17: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Leigh (tamaraleigh) | 24 comments Anna wrote: "Hi Tamara,

My Questions:
1.) How do you create your characters?

2.)Do you find this more difficult when developing characters for Christan books vs. Secular books?

Thanks,

Anna James"


Hello Anna,
Sometimes my characters materialize out of very little. Other times, I really have to think them through, especially when I choose to write one who is very different from me and my experiences. I would say they're made up of a combination of people I know, people I read about, people I hear about, and people I observe (I tend to hold up walls when my husband and I attend various functions and can't help but people watch).

Character development does seem more difficult for my inspirational books. I think it's because I'm conscious of the need to create characters who "speak" to the beliefs of inspirational readers. I don't want my hero/heroine to be preachy, but I do want them to-- as gently as possible--reinforce or point the way to God.

Thank you for your question!


message 18: by Fran, Moderator (new)

Fran | 10999 comments Welcome Tamara!

Do you have a favorite time of day/place that you do most of your writing? What about your favorite time to read? I've put my book light to good use late at night when the rest of the house has gone to bed :)


message 19: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Leigh (tamaraleigh) | 24 comments Carroll wrote: "Thank you for your answer. And while we may agree to disargee, the ultimate dream for all of us is to be happy and to find what it is in our lives that work for us and help us to make it through ea..."

Thank you, Carroll. It is a wonderful dream, isn't it?


message 20: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Leigh (tamaraleigh) | 24 comments Fran wrote: "Welcome Tamara!

Do you have a favorite time of day/place that you do most of your writing? What about your favorite time to read? I've put my book light to good use late at night when the rest ..."


I find that writing during the day is best for me, especially the morning hours when I'm refreshed. There are two places I like to write: at the kitchen counter and at...yes, Starbucks. There is just something about being tucked away in a corner with a lovely espresso drink :)

That means reading is usually reserved for the night hours before sleep. Of course, this means that if the book is exceptional, sleep may be a long time in coming. And, yes, I sometimes have to clip on my booklight.

Thank you for the question.


message 21: by Teri (new)

Teri Jackson (terbear) | 208 comments I use to love Pippi Longstocking <3

how many books do you work at a time or do you just do one at a time?


message 22: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (michelle_sutton) | 6 comments Popping in to say hi! Waving at Tamara. Your new book sounds like a fun read. Well, actually the title of the series sounds fun. :)


message 23: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Leigh (tamaraleigh) | 24 comments Michelle wrote: "Popping in to say hi! Waving at Tamara. Your new book sounds like a fun read. Well, actually the title of the series sounds fun. :)"

Waving back at ya, Michelle. Hi! Hope all is well with you and your writing.


message 24: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Leigh (tamaraleigh) | 24 comments Teri wrote: "I use to love Pippi Longstocking <3

how many books do you work at a time or do you just do one at a time?"


Hi Teri,

It would be nice to be able to work on more than one book at a time, and some authors make it look easy. But me? The mere thought of trying to juggle more than one storyline, not to mention double or triple the characters...well, I'll just break out in a cold sweat now.

P/S: Though I only write one book at a time, often I'm turning over the next story in my mind. So maybe that counts.


message 25: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (michelle_sutton) | 6 comments Tamara wrote: "Waving back at ya, Michelle. Hi! Hope all is well with you and your writing..."

It is... Just made some book video trailers today for future releases. I'm stoked. :)


message 26: by Lynne (new)

Lynne (lovetoreadgal) | 1152 comments Hi Tamara,

I'm intrigued by your remark that you had to cut 30,000 words from your book Misbegotten. What reasons did your publisher give you for removing "religion" from your book? As I was reading I got to thinking about the fact that Christianity/religion was such a giant part of the culture of the time that it seems as if removing it would have been untrue to the time. Have you thought about electronically "resurrecting" those sections of the book that were removed?

I've enjoyed reading about the choices that you have made to take your writing in another direction. I applaud your commitment. I've just now placed a hold at the library on your first book in the Southern Discomfort series. I'm looking forward to reading it. Thanks for taking the time to come to our Goodreads group to answer our questions.


message 27: by Teri (new)

Teri Jackson (terbear) | 208 comments lol I see

What kind of book do you dislike?


message 28: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7316 comments hi Tamara - I saw you are a starbuck officienado...lol! do you have a favorite drink? - the guys at my local starbucks are well trained because i get the same thing all the time


message 29: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Leigh (tamaraleigh) | 24 comments Teri wrote: "lol I see

What kind of book do you dislike?"


Though there are genres I like better than others--i.e. romance, women's fiction--because of rare exceptions, I don't think there's a specific book/genre I dislike. That said, I embrace happy endings far and above those that leave me with a feeling of hopelessness. And here's one of those exceptions: I enjoyed "The Road," and though there might have been faint hope at the end of the story, that's about all.


message 30: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Leigh (tamaraleigh) | 24 comments Dee wrote: "hi Tamara - I saw you are a starbuck officienado...lol! do you have a favorite drink? - the guys at my local starbucks are well trained because i get the same thing all the time"

Hi Dee,
With the recent hot, oppressive, suffocating, humid, choking weather (yes, I'm perseverating), I've been trying out different frappucinos and enjoying them (the light versions), but my favorite is still Caramel Macchiato.


message 31: by Fran, Moderator (new)

Fran | 10999 comments Tamara wrote: "Dee wrote: "hi Tamara - I saw you are a starbuck officienado...lol! do you have a favorite drink? - the guys at my local starbucks are well trained because i get the same thing all the time"

Hi De..."



The Caramel Macchiato is my favorite too! I have been tempted to try the Coconut Frapp they have for the summer, but I always end up going back to my favorite.


message 32: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7316 comments Lol - I'm a hot coffee chick even in the middle of the summer - soy vanilla latte


message 33: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Leigh (tamaraleigh) | 24 comments Ken wrote: "Good evening Tamara. Hope you are well. Thanks for your time here at "Ask an Author." I would like to ask you the following two questions:

1] In your opinion, how would you define hope?"

2] O..."


Hi Ken,
I apologize for not responding sooner. What a night and day it's been.

So, hope... A personal definition doesn't come immediately to mind (it probably should, hmm?) so let me work this through. For me, hope is that light inside that, when things are at their worst, allows me to hang on no matter how rough, slippery, or frayed the rope. It affirms "this too shall pass"..."this will get better"..."good can and will come of this"..."there is light at the end of this tunnel"...and best of all "Jesus"

And now for the changes a manuscript goes through before it finds itself sitting pretty on a shelf. I tend to be a seat of the pants writer in that I don't construct an elaborate outline before writing. In fact, if not that most publishers require a synopsis, I probably wouldn't go that far either. And so, for me, the changes my story goes through are typically less drastic than they might be for the author who writes a detailed outline only to have the story head off in a different direction.

Ta da!


message 34: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Leigh (tamaraleigh) | 24 comments Lynne wrote: "Hi Tamara,

I'm intrigued by your remark that you had to cut 30,000 words from your book Misbegotten. What reasons did your publisher give you for removing "religion" from your book? As I was rea..."


It was decided that, despite the historical accuracy of my heroine's faith journey as she struggled with the loss of loved ones at the hands of the plague, it detracted from the romance. And, I had been contracted to write a romance. Personally, I believe the characters were more likable and better developed in the original story, but it didn't fly. Of course, there was also the issue of the cost of paper :)

The only way I see myself resurrecting those cut scenes would be if I rewrote the entire book to better reflect my faith. Those first seven books were secular and so...ahem...yes...there were love scenes.

Thank you for your encouragement, Lynne. I hope you enjoy the Southern Discomfort series. Have a lovely day.


message 35: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Leigh (tamaraleigh) | 24 comments Fran wrote: "Tamara wrote: "Dee wrote: "hi Tamara - I saw you are a starbuck officienado...lol! do you have a favorite drink? - the guys at my local starbucks are well trained because i get the same thing all t..."

Eek! Guess what I had for the first time today? A Coconut Frappucino! And it was delicious, even in the "light" version. If you like coconut, you have to try it.


message 36: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Leigh (tamaraleigh) | 24 comments Dee wrote: "Lol - I'm a hot coffee chick even in the middle of the summer - soy vanilla latte"

Providing I drink inside the air-conditioned store, I usually stick with the hot drink, but if I'm taking it outside into the sticky icky heat, the frappucino is a bigger hit. I'll have to give the soy vanilla latte a try. I imagine the consistency is a bit thicker... Ah! Even more like dessert :)


message 37: by Fran, Moderator (new)

Fran | 10999 comments LOL! Now I am definitely going to try the Coconut Frapp! And the 'light' version for sure, those yummy drinks add up :)


message 38: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7316 comments mmm yum! I might give my starbucks peeps a heart attack if I order something different...lol! I don't even have to order, they see me coming and they make it...something about cold coffee just doesn't do it for me...dunno why...


message 39: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (last edited Jul 07, 2011 06:17PM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 350 comments Hi Tamara! I really enjoyed your medieval book Saxon's Bride, and I saw that you were writing Christian romances now. I am really looking to read more books that help to give me a good story and have Christian aspects to encourage me in my daily walk. So here is my question:

How do you avoid your stories coming off as dogmatic and preachy in their spiritual message, instead of real life with relatable characters who are in various stages in their Christian walk? I think this can be an issue with Christian fiction, which is why I am somewhat picky about books in this genre. I really respect authors who can handle this issue deftly.


message 40: by KimKirt (new)

KimKirt | 1638 comments Hi Tamara!

I'm just now popping in this discussion, hope I'm not too late. I also just put "Restless in Carolina" on my TBR list. I actually live in Otto, NC (about an hour from Asheville) and it looks like that book takes place around the Asheville area.

I have been looking for some more Christian fiction to read. I enjoy Catherine Anderson very much and although not truly a Christian author, so does insert the message in her books.

Did you see the movie "Fireproof?"

Kim


message 41: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Leigh (tamaraleigh) | 24 comments KimKirt wrote: "Hi Tamara!

I'm just now popping in this discussion, hope I'm not too late. I also just put "Restless in Carolina" on my TBR list. I actually live in Otto, NC (about an hour from Asheville) and i..."


Hi Kim,

Not too late at all. I hope you'll enjoy Bridget's story in Restless in Carolina. She was a very different character to write; I'm hoping I did her and the Pickwick family justice :) I don't believe I've read any of Catherine Anderson's books, but that sounds like a good recommendation to me.

I did see the movie "Fireproof" when it was first released in theaters. My husband and I went with friends from church and we thought the message was beautiful and powerful. In fact, since it's been a while, it would be nice to rent it. Maybe I'll do that this weekend! I hope your weekend is restful.


message 42: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Leigh (tamaraleigh) | 24 comments Lady Danielle "The Book Huntress" wrote: "Hi Tamara! I really enjoyed your medieval book Saxon's Bride, and I saw that you were writing Christian romances now. I am really looking to read more books that help to give me a good story and ..."

Hello, Lady Danielle,

Thank you for your message. I'm glad you enjoyed Saxon Bride. Of the seven medieval romances I wrote, it's one of my favorites.

One of the reasons it took me so long to transition from the secular to the inspirational market was that my experience with Christian romance was that much of it was preachy, especially when I was so new to my faith. I didn't feel I had the knowledge or conviction to be able to create characters capable of sharing their faith in a meaningful and non-offensive way should a non-believer pick up one of my books. So even as my faith has grown, I've remained aware of the different stages of a Christian's development and recall my own feelings at each of those stages when creating a character. It's a delicate balance, but as best I can, I give my readers characters who are believable, romances that tug at the heart strings, and gentle messages of faith to reinforce one's beliefs or, perhaps, kindle a flame.

Thank you for your question, Lady Danielle. I hope your weekend is restful.


message 43: by Teri (new)

Teri Jackson (terbear) | 208 comments *Pops back in*

What's your favorite character out of your "Southern Discomfort series"? and why


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 350 comments Thanks for the insightful answer, Tamara. Have a good weekend too.


message 45: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Leigh (tamaraleigh) | 24 comments Teri wrote: "*Pops back in*

What's your favorite character out of your "Southern Discomfort series"? and why"


Favorite...umm...I like them all, but if I had to pick one, I think it would be Maggie from Nowhere Carolina. She had such a long way to go from the mean girl she was to the strong and loving woman she became. But now Piper... And Bridget... I miss them all :(


message 46: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Leigh (tamaraleigh) | 24 comments Thank you, Goodreads, for inviting me to join you. And thank you, members, for asking such great questions and responding so kindly. Bless you all!


message 47: by Tamara (new)

Tamara Leigh (tamaraleigh) | 24 comments I'm pleased to announce that the following Goodreads members will each receive one copy of Restless in Carolina: Teri, Lady Danielle, and Lynne. Email your mailing address to: tamaraleigh@comcast.net and I'll make a trip to the post office this week. Congratulations and I hope you enjoy Bridget's story.

And a big THANK YOU to all the participants who asked such great questions and made me feel welcome.


message 48: by Teri (last edited Jul 10, 2011 09:02PM) (new)

Teri Jackson (terbear) | 208 comments Yay well Thank you for coming here I had a great time talking to you ^-^


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 350 comments Awesome! Thanks, Tamara!


message 50: by Rossy (new)

Rossy (naughtybookjunkie) | 2192 comments Such a shame i missed it, but it was great reading the questions and your answers. Thank you Tamara for spending the time with us!

Congratulations ladies!


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