Nan Reinhardt, Author

Grown-up love stories, because we’re never too old for a little sexy romance…
Browsing Writer’s moments

How Do You Text?

August14

This article from the Wall Street Journal made me smile because Samantha Hayes, the heroine in my new book coming October 29 from Tule Publishing has a “thing” about texting and how people do it. In A SMALL TOWN CHRISTMAS, the fact that Conor Flaherty, the hero, just uses texting for the utility of easy communication–no emojis, correct spelling and punctuation–is simply one more reason for her to fall in love with him!

My writing BFF, Liz Flaherty and I tease each other a lot about our excessive use of exclamation marks when we “chat” on Google each morning–we both do it. But I think we’re only trying to get a point across and show one another how we feel about any given topic. Oh, BTW, Liz’s new book, NICE TO COME HOME TO is available on Amazon and other book retailers.

Enjoy this article from the Wall Street Journal and then leave me a comment about how you feel about punctuation in texting and emails. Me? I’m kind with Sam on the topic, but I’m guilty of overuse of emojis and exclamation marks when I text . . . however, I do try very hard to spell everything correctly and OMG! I don’t use abbreviations like OMG and LOL and CUL8TR, especially not that last one! Ugh! LOL!

Let’s discuss. In the meantime, mes amies, remember, hold your face to the sun, be grateful for all things, and love well.

Nan

Cover Reveal!

August3

Wow, am I in love with this cover for my new novel, A SMALL TOWN CHRISTMAS, coming October 29 from Tule Publishing! Isn’t this gorgeous? Here is final version of the back cover blurb:

Four Irish Brothers Winery

A romantic new series by USA Today bestselling author Nan Reinhardt

Winemaker and single father Conor Flaherty is determined to make this Christmas holiday special for his daughter even though his family’s winery, Four Irish Brothers, is facing some challenges.

High-octane Chicago attorney Samantha Hayes is looking forward to some delicious food, fine wine, small town charm, and a break from her hectic big city life when she agrees to do a favor for her boss and help his younger brother with a lawsuit that’s been slapped on his family’s historic winery in River’s Edge. She’s not expecting that her sexy new client will have a smile that will melt her heart and remind her that there’s more to life than work.

Sam falls hard for Conor, his daughter and the small, friendly town, but can she trust her instincts and risk her heart? Sam hasn’t seen a lot of happy-ever-afters in her life, but Conor and the magic of Christmas make her want to believe.

I’m so jacked up about this book and this series! It’s my first Christmas romance and it was a ball to write! Can’t wait to share it with all of you! Sean Flaherty’s story is next–stay tuned for book 2!

Until next time, mes amies, remember, hold your face to the sun, be grateful, and love well.

Nan

Inspiration

July26

So often I am asked, “Where do you get your ideas?” It doesn’t seem like a hard question, but the answer can be complicated.

Every story setting or plot comes from a different place, but most often it’s simply that the people in my head start talking and I have to create a story for them so they’ll shut up and leave me and my dreams alone.

The inspiration for the new series I’m writing for Tule Publishing was this guy. This is Karl Wente of Wente Vineyards in California and I’ve never met him personally, but I’ve been to his winery and tasted his delicious wines and this particular picture set off a whole lot of ideas. I saw this picture and Conor Flaherty, who’d been bugging me for some time, suddenly came to life. His story isn’t Karl’s story–I don’t even know Karl’s story–but this photo of a young winemaker walking in his vineyard brought Conor into focus.

Then I started my what ifs. What if  the owners of a family winery in southern Indiana suffered a series of tragedies–the winemaker’s young wife dies, leaving him alone to raise their two-year-old daughter. And what if the winemaker’s father, who started the winery, also dies. And what if the winemaker has three brothers. . . ah ha! Now we have a family. And the what ifs pile up and characters develop and situations change and stuff happens and it all becomes a story . . . or even four stories. Thus, Four Irish Brothers–both the place and the brothers–were born.

Here is the back cover blurb for Conor’s story, which I have titled TWICE IN A LIFETIME and so far no one at Tule has mentioned changing it:

Winemaker and single father Conor Flaherty is determined to make this Christmas holiday special for his daughter even though his family’s winery, Four Irish Brothers, is facing some challenges.

High-octane Chicago attorney Samantha Hayes is looking forward to some delicious food, fine wine, small town charm, and a break from her hectic big-city life when she agrees to do a favor for her boss and help his younger brother with a lawsuit that’s been slapped on his family’s historic winery in River’s Edge. She’s not expecting that her sexy new client will have a smile that will melt her heart and remind her that there’s more to life than work.

Sam falls hard for Connor, his daughter, and the small, friendly town, but can she trust her instincts and risk her heart? Sam hasn’t seen a lot of happy-ever-afters in her life, but Conor and the magic of Christmas make her want to believe.

I hope I’ll have a cover for Conor and Samantha’s story to share with you soon and that I’ll be getting you a release date soon, too!

Until next time, mes amies, hold your face to the sun, be grateful, and love well.

Nan

Where’s the Big Stuff?

July14

Okay, so a week or so ago, I posted that big news is coming and it is. Truly! I turned in revisions to the first Tule Publishing book on Monday and heard back from my editor immediately. She’s got a couple of other books in front of mine in the pipeline–she’s a busy lady–but she’ll be getting to mine very soon. Got to admit to being rather nervous because I tried very hard to address her concerns with the first draft. I think I got it. I just hope she agrees.

The angst that goes along with turning your work over to an editor is real, especially when you suspect you didn’t quite hit it exactly right. Funny, but before she ever responded to the first draft, I sensed that what she would say was that Sam, my heroine, wasn’t fully developed. I focused so much of attention on Conor because the book is his, so Samantha didn’t quite come to life. Not that she wasn’t perfectly fine,  but she needed more depth. I hope the revisions I did made her a better character. After all, hunky Conor falls in love with her practically at first sight–the entire story hinges on that, so the reader has to buy it from the start.

In other news, I’m beginning the new Four Irish Brothers title–this one is Sean’s and it’s off to a rousing start. I debated where to start telling his story and I picked a pivotal moment with lots of action. We’ll see if I can pull this one off. Sean’s a charismatic attorney whose life has always been charmed and suddenly, he’s turned upside down. He has some issues to deal with that he’s not prepared for at all, in fact none of the Flaherty boys were ready for this one . His brothers will help him along the way, but Sean has to fight some demons he never expected to turn up in his life. Hold a good thought, okay?

Summer is going along–we spent almost a month at the lake and are now back home in the city for a few days. We have some things that need taking care of here. Although I love the lake, it’s nice to be home, too. How blessed we are to have two lovely homes, both of which are close to our kids now. Seeing Son and DIL and Grandboy whenever we like is a treat, as was going to Palo Alto last month to see Son become a doctor. Here’s a great shot of Grandboy meeting Son’s advisor.

I’m dealing with a lot of arthritis pain right now–knees and hip joint are not happy, so I’m going try a totally new approach. CBD oil. Not sure if it will make any difference, but it’s easier than surgery, which I fear I may be facing sooner rather than later. I confess I wasn’t prepared to be so cripped up as I aged. Stupid because genetics are not in my favor as far as arthritis goes and I should have suspected that it would get worse, not better. I think that thing that ticks me off so much is that I’ve done all the stuff I’m supposed to do–exercise, eat right, keep the joints lubricated–yet here I am, sore and achy and pissed off.  So, hold another good thought, okay? I don’t ever want to be the old lady in the electric cart at Walmart–it is my worst nightmare.

In the meantime, hold tight for news on the book front. Stay healthy, be grateful in all things, and keep in touch, okay?

Gratitude for this week:

  1. Family–Husband, Son, Dil, Grandboy, Sis…you all keep me going.
  2. One book down, three more to go. I can so do this!
  3. The lake–swimming has been wonderful this summer.
  4. My friends who also keep me going.
  5. My BFF dedicated her new book NICE TO COME TO to me! Wasn’t that a sweet thing? I love it! You can preorder it here.
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Silver Disobedience

May10

Dian Griesel has started a fabulous new website geared for folks over 50 called Silver Disobedience. She interviewed me for a feature spot and it’s up on the website this week. Check it out–so much fun!

 

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Woot!! I’m Featured This Week!

May1

Once a Month Works…Right?

April30

Yeah, it’s been a month since my last post here. Frankly, it’s been a crazy month where life happened while I was making other plans. Mostly, I’ve been writing. I’m on a deadline and so that’s been where every writing moment has been spent. When I wasn’t writing my own book, I was editing someone else’s. Been a busy month for Editor Nan–good news because, you know, they’re paying me and there is that damn $1K/month health insurance bill that has to be paid. But between work and writing, I’ve pretty much been a hermit. I did get to meet up with my bestie/writing buddy and we had a writing day at the library in the town in between the lake and her house. It was grand to spend time with her!

In other news, we got the lake cottage open for the season and it’s been grand to work and write there. Our kids have been up and that’s been double fun because Son is just nuts about the lake, DIL is fast becoming quite the little lake girl, and Grandboy loves all things lake. He’s kind of getting into fishing–lots of curiosity about it, so Poppy and Daddy took him down to try out the new bait net this past weekend, and he was delighted to be able to hold a crappie in his hands. In fact, the kids are turning into such lake people that they decided to buy a summer place, too. We are beyond thrilled that they’ll be just down the road from us. Isn’t that fun?

 

When we “decorated” the lake cottage (and I use the term decorated very loosely), I used some old photographs that my MIL gave us. I framed them in black and white frames and hung them collage-style in the living room. Old pictures of Husband at the lake with his grandparents back in the ’50s and ’60s and several of Son when he was kid at the lake in the ’80s and ’90s. Husband figured out that Grandboy is the sixth generation of Reinhardt to be at our lake. Isn’t that cool? To commemorate that, I’m going to use the three photos below to make a 3-picture framed set for both us and the kids–aren’t these darling? My little fishermen!

All in all, life is hard, life is good, life is sad, life is joyful, life is busy, life is lovely… how about you? What’s news?

 

Celebrating Seasoned Romance: Linda Tillis

February28

Is there a better way to close out our celebration of Seasoned Romance than with a giveaway? I don’t think so! So, today, I’m turning the blog over to author Linda Tillis, who’s got an audio book to give away to one lucky commenter. READ ON FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A FREE AUDIO BOOK!

Thanks, Nan! Folks often ask, “where do you get your stories from?”  Well, first off, I was born in Appalachia, where storytelling is bred into you. In years gone by, we would sit at the feet of our grandparents in the evening, and learn about our ancestors. These were remarkable stories that led me to dream of fantastical things.

Secondly, I’ve held only three jobs in my life, and all were filled with color, people, pathos, and adventure. And so, I write about what I know.

My first 18 years of work were spent in a sewing factory. I learned everything there was to know about the fashion industry. From designing to the shipping of the finished garment. This gave me a love of color that has never left me.

My next twenty years were spent in Crime Scene Investigation.  Quite a change, right?

So, I spent twenty years of documenting everything from the smallest burglaries, to horrific homicides.  That much raw life and death can take a toll on the body, and mind. And eventually my husband convinced me the job I loved was killing me, so I retired.

I began to photograph wildlife, which led to articles and photos for the Florida Wildlife Magazine. At that point my husband told me I needed to write a book. And so, I did.

You will find my stories are of women who overcome adversity to find the love they deserve. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you’ll leave a comment for a chance to win an audio book version of A Heart Made for Love.

In A Heart Made For Love, you meet the Hinton family.

In rural Florida, 1903, Mae Hinton cares for her father and younger brothers, trying to fill her deceased mother’s shoes. Her life is shattered and her faith tested when her innocence is stolen by roving miscreants. Left unconscious, unable to identify her attackers, she pledges to help other victimized women. She pursues an education and learns to deal with bigoted ministers, well-to-do hypocrites, and men with higher regard for their livestock than their women.

 Edward Finch is nearly done with medical studies in England when he comes home for the holidays. Love flourishes, and Mae seems close to achieving her dreams of both true love and a haven for victims, once she can explain to him why she carries a pistol. Then her new-found happiness is upset by a murder as one of her attackers returns. 

She may settle this herself…or she may find that vengeance truly belongs to God.

Buy link:  http://amzn.to/2BPmQFR

http://lindatillisauthor.com

Twitter: @Linda34434

 

 

 

 

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Celebrating Seasoned Romance: Liz Flaherty

February23

I’m always delighted to welcome my bestie, Liz Flaherty, to the blog. Liz thinks one of the things that keeps you young when you quite obviously aren’t anymore is the constant chances you have to reinvent yourself. Her latest (and happiest!) professional incarnation is as a Harlequin Heartwarming author!

One of the reasons she loves writing and reading about seasoned protagonists is the most obvious one–it’s a dream she’s living. She remembers early conversations with her husband when they tried to imagine having sex at 40 and beyond. She was utterly thrilled to find out it was not only possible but even better than it had been in their 20s!

That’s as personal as it’s going to get. Liz has three grown children, the three they married and brought home to her, and the Magnificent Seven grandchildren who are, you know, magnificence. She and Duane live in the same farmhouse back a lane they’ve been sharing for 40 years and hope to share for…well, probably not another 40, but a long time more. She also hangs out with me–our 3-hour lunches are the stuff legends are made of. Liz is a multi-published author with Harlequin, The Wild Rose Press, and Carina Press.

She’d love to hear from you at lizkflaherty@gmail.com or please come and see her at http://www.facebook.com/lizkflaherty

Today Liz is sharing her thoughts on seasoned romance, a topic the two of us have taken apart and put together more times than I can count. However much we discuss romance written about and for women in their prime, we inevitably come to the same conclusion–we need it! Take it away, Liz!

Thanks to Nan for having me here yet again. This article is a re-run from a year or so ago on The Pink Heart Society but my feelings on the subject haven’t changed at all. My own seasoned romances are still among my favorites. My women’s fiction title about four girlfriends in their 50s, The Girls of Tonsil Lake, is something I’m embarrassingly proud of.

I’ve been reading romance since long before Janet Daily wrote No Quarter Asked and gave American authors a new place in a genre that belonged almost exclusively to women.

That particular revolution was only one Big Thing—romance and most of its changes have been an embarrassment of riches since its beginning. Multi-cultural romances are widely available, which wasn’t always the case. Indie-pubbing is huge, yet I remember when the very idea of it was pretty close to the f-bomb on the roster of dirty words. Romance used to be the love story of one man and one woman and now gender isn’t even an issue. The traditional Happily Ever After ending can be Happy For Now or, if some supporters have their way, Not Happy At All. Sex has gone from being a heavy-breathing suggestion near the climax of the story to multiple scenes in the same chapter. The use of any kind of swearing or other obscenity has become a non-issue because nothing is forbidden.

It must be admitted that nearly every adjustment has been accompanied by kicking and screaming from its authors, readers, or both, but the biggest blessing of all these changes is that now there is something for everybody. I write sweet romance for Harlequin Heartwarming with no on-the-page sex and no swearing. Inspirational publishers, lines, and imprints are alive and well. Readers don’t have to look far to find books that tell stories of LGBTQ protagonists. A reader can go from chaste kisses to multiple orgasms with the touch to the screen of her e-reader. Contemporary, historical, and paranormal romances have delighted readers waiting for them and no one’s intoning in somber voices that their chosen category is dead.

I’m old enough to be appalled at some of the alterations to the genre I love at the same time I am, as a child of the 60s, completely thrilled that the changes have been made.

Except. Did you see that term in the paragraph above, there where I said “60s.” That’s where I’m at—not the 1960s anymore, but in my 60s. Somewhere past the middle. If we want to be brutally honest or intentionally rude about it, I guess I’m old. I’m retired from a long and happy career at a day job but I still write romantic novels and work part time in a library. I’ve been married to the guy who holds my heart for going-on-47 years and we have seven pretty-much-perfect grandchildren.

Surprising as it is to me, apparently no one wants to read about romance between people who lost their skin tone and their waistlines sometime in the previous decade. Or the one before. Who aren’t necessarily falling in real, true love for the first time, who won’t be pregnant or have children in the epilogue, who answer first and foremost to such pet names as Nana and Grampy-Buttons.

My daughter and daughters-in-law are in their early to mid-40s. They’re bright, beautiful, educated women with professions they’re excellent at and proud of. They’re also great mothers and wives. They’re readers, too, just like me. But no one wants to read about people like them, either. People whose days start in the dark and end in the dark because between their jobs and their families and that little-bit-of-time-before-bed they can call their own, their lives are completely full.

We read, all four of us, but we can very seldom read about women like ourselves because we’re too old, too settled, too married, the wrong demographic all around.

It makes me sad, because as gorgeous and smart and hilarious as everyone born after 1980 is, I don’t want to read about them all the time. I’m not interested in their body art or, for that matter, their body parts. I don’t believe they invented sex or that they’re the only ones who are good at it or that they are the only ones who can experience angst in its truest, most heartbreaking forms. They’re not the only ones who know how to laugh from the deepest parts of themselves or who hide behind closed stall doors in restrooms and weep from those same places.

Do I sound a little bitter there, as if I’m protesting too much? Yeah, probably. Because those of us born before 1980 have been in all those places. What’s more interesting is that we’re still there. We still laugh, cry, and have sex. We love more than we ever have before simply because the width and depth of our lives grow every single day and the love grows right along with it.

Yet we can’t be heroines in romance novels and the men we love can’t be heroes. I mean, we can, but not often. Not many. Not usually ones published by the Big Boys in New York. We can’t have imprints with provocative or heartstring-pulling names. It’s been tried; Harlequin’s Next imprint comes to mind. Its 100 titles are some of the best women’s fiction/romance books ever published and several of them had Baby Boomer protagonists. But think of that—100 titles. Not many in the scheme of things.

When I began to stage this little protest—remember, I said I was a child of the 60s; protest is part of my personal operating system—I looked up the demographics of romance readers. On this particular website, I read that “18 percent are between the ages of 45-54, 11 percent are between the ages of 55-64…eight percent are over 75…six percent are between the ages of 65-74…” Now, the way I read that, 43 percent are 45 and older, so wouldn’t that make you think protagonists “of a certain age” might have more stories in them than are available to read?

Not all statistics read that way, of course—it depends on your source. And not everybody my age or my girls’ ages want to read (or write) about protagonists in their own age groups.

But some do, and I’d love to see statistics on how many of that 43 percent I mentioned up there would like to see more romances about mature people. I’d love to know how many writers would like to write more romances about mature people. (I must note here that using the word mature is making my teeth itch—we’re people and don’t need labels.)

I have friends who write older protagonists—Nan Reinhardt and Jan Scarbrough to name two. I’ve written a few. Many others have, too, and terms like seasoned romance, grown-up love stories, never too old, not their first rodeo populate numerous blogposts and websites. I’m glad to see it, glad to read those stories that are written from hearts scarred and made strong by surviving life’s rodeos.

But I don’t think it’s enough. Until it is realized that we are here “in numbers too big to ignore,” until stories both by and about us are published and marketed with the same respect and enthusiasm awarded virtually everyone else, we’re still going to be the writers and the readers who are left over at the end of the day.

Here are links to Liz’s other stories with characters over 40:

A Soft Place to Fall

Summer in Stringtown Proper

Because of Joe

The Gingerbread Heart

 

 

Celebrating Seasoned Romance: Lina Rehal

February21

Today we’re featuring Lina Rehal, a self-published author who writes contemporary romance, nostalgia, memoirs, and slice-of-life stories. Her first book, Carousel Kisses, is a collection of nostalgic stories, personal essays and poems about growing up in the late ‘50’s and early ‘60’s.

She combines her passion for fiction and love of storytelling in her contemporary romance novels. Her two romance books, October In New York and Loving Daniel, Book One of her Tucker’s Landing Series, are available on Amazon.com in both print and Kindle formats.

NAN: Welcome Lina. Tell us what you are currently working on or promoting.

LINA: Hi, Nan. Thank you for having me on your blog. I’m currently working on edits to the first draft of my contemporary romance, Lasting Impressions. It’s book two of my Tucker’s Landing Series. I’m hoping to self-publish it in late March or early April. I’m also promoting Loving Daniel, the first book in the series. Both stories are set in a coastal town in Massachusetts. It’s my first attempt at writing a series.

NAN: What genre(s) do you write in?

LINA: Mostly, contemporary romance. I love writing fiction and romance stories with happy endings. I also write nostalgia, memoir and slice of life stories.

NAN: Do you have an agent and/or publisher, or are you self-published?

LINA: All of my books are self-published.

NAN: What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

LINA: Write from your heart. Get it down on paper and worry about the edits later. Go with your muse. Listen to your characters. They’ll lead you in the right direction.

NAN: Who is your favorite author and why?

LINA: Nora Roberts. Her characters are engaging and memorable. She grabs my attention from the first page and holds it through to the end. I’m never disappointed when I read one of her books.

NAN: Is there a theme/message underlying your book(s) that you hope comes across?

LINA: My characters are in their mid-forties and up. If there’s a message, I’d say it’s don’t be afraid to love again. Second chances are hard to come by.

NAN: What do you like best/least about writing?

LINA: I like entertaining people through storytelling. I love creating characters and the worlds they live in and finding ways for them to interact. What I probably like the least is the time between books. After I finish a book, I miss my characters and the anticipation of what’s going to happen next. Thankfully, it goes away once I’m immersed in the next story.

NAN: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

LINA: Several years ago, a local newspaper accepted one of my stories. I was asked to write for a weekly column. I wrote day trip stories for a year and then moved up to travel and feature ones. When people would come up to me and tell me they enjoyed my story, I felt like a writer.

NAN: What is the hardest thing about writing a series?

LINA: Making the next book/books stand alones. Blending the characters from a previous book in with the new ones in the current book can be difficult. You have to make sure the timeframe works and that you don’t repeat too much. I keep thinking I have to explain what they did in the last one.

NAN: What do you do in your spare time?

LINA: I like to read, of course. Other than that, I enjoy traveling with my husband to Disneyworld and short getaways to Maine and New Hampshire. I love spending time with my family and going to lunch or dinner with girlfriends.

Lina is all over social media:

http://thefuzzypinkmuse.com

Loving Daniel

Romance writer, Grace Madden stumbles across an old journal and a stack of letters from the man who shattered her dreams when he returned from Iraq, broke their engagement and left Massachusetts with no explanation. Reading his letters brings back the unanswered question of why he broke up with her. Memories she tucked away in a corner of her heart, over two decades ago, resurface. Realizing she never got over him, the well-known author tries to find closure. She writes LOVING DANIEL to tell the story she’s kept inside of her all these years.

When Aidan McRae reads it, he is convinced the story is about him and has to know why she wrote it. He learns she’s doing an author event at a bookstore near his home in Maine and plans a surprise visit. He persuades her to have lunch with him. Hoping to find her answer, she accepts his invitation to spend the next day in Ogunquit, the small coastal town they visited as kids. An innocent kiss leads to feelings neither of them can deny.

Excerpt:

When Aidan woke up, he found himself in the living room. It was dark. He could see the full moon through the open blinds. The TV was in sleep mode. Red numbers from a digital clock on the end table glared at him. 2 a.m. Must have nodded off on the sofa again, he thought.

He had been dreaming. But, this time was different. He didn’t wake up in a panic or soaked from sweat. It wasn’t one of his usual nightmares. Aidan couldn’t remember this one, but he wanted to. It was about something, or someone pleasant. He was sure of that. Yet, it left him with a sense of sadness or loss.

The dream bothered him. He closed his eyes for a few minutes, hoping it would come back to him. When it didn’t, he decided to get up and go to bed. Swinging his long legs off the sofa, Aidan stood up. The book he had been reading slid off his chest and fell to the floor. The cover gave him a jolt. Loving Daniel by Grace Madden. He picked it up, sat down and remembered.

Aidan had been dreaming about Grace Devlin, a woman he fell in love with back in the late 1980’s in Massachusetts. She was in college then, studying to be a journalist. He was working at a local garage and taking business administration courses at night. They met when her car broke down and Aidan had to tow it back to the garage. She was a petite, beautiful young girl with long, flowing hair the color of copper and eyes as green as emeralds in the right light. He gave her a ride home that day and invited her to dinner before she got out of his truck.

In the dream, she was the Grace he knew back then. She was vibrant, tenacious, impatient and crazy in love with him. It was coming back to him. He had been kissing her. Awake now, Aidan could still feel the softness of her lips on his and smell the traces of lemon shampoo in her hair. It felt real. It felt right. He wanted to go back to sleep so he could hold her and tell her he loved her.

Link to Loving Daniel on Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ybfkbvd2

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