Spotlight on #ParanormalRomance: Claimed by @AndreaRCooper

Hello Dear Readers! As we bid farewell to November and hello to December, here’s a look at a paranormal romance by fellow Champagne Books author Andrea R. Cooper. This is the first book in her Claimed series. Read on for info and excerpt. Happy reading! xo, Celia…

Claimed by Andrea R. Cooper book cover image

 
Title: Claimed
Author: Andrea R. Cooper
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Champagne Books
Date of Publication: June 6, 2016
ISBN: 1771552778
Page Count: 241

Renee Maxwell lands her dream job as assistant to archaeologist Damon Cubins in wondrous Turkey. However, she starts seeing strange things after finding a unique crystal. For one, hot Damon now looks like the sexy demi-god and underwear model of her dreams. Her feminist ideals are challenged with each bit of banter and seductive look he gives her, but she’s not falling for his charm.



Time is of the essence for incubus, Damon Cubins, who must find a one-of-a-kind crystal or turn into a full-fledged demon. He has neither the time nor desire for love, but his new assistant tests his resolve. When he discovers she’s got the crystal he needs to save himself, he must make a decision to either romance it from her or walk away. But can he?

Amazon | B & N | Kobo | iTunes | Watch the Claimed Trailer

Claimed Excerpt

She huffed and snatched up her towel. Thankfully, it reached just below her butt, leaving her long legs exposed for his admiration.

Then she batted her eyelashes at him. “I would never give you the satisfaction.”

“Of which?” He beamed. “Drowning or bathing?”

“Both.” She inserted the corner of towel between her breasts, locking the rest of it around her, and then grabbed her canteen. “Uh, thank you for saving me.” She shivered, and he doubted it was merely from the dunk in the water. “Please don’t tell the others; it’s embarrassing.”

After his nod, she breathed out a sigh. She looked as if she anticipated that he would haul her back into the water for a lesson.

Her movements reminded him of abused animals. He speculated most people, who couldn’t swim but grew up around water, would try to learn unless they experienced drowning or trauma in the past. Could that have happened to her? There was more to this situation than her usual stubbornness. Vulnerability even.

As she leaned over to finish filling her canteen, her ample bosom peeked out. His lust twisted at the thought of the sounds she would make when he kissed her nipples until they pebbled.

Suddenly, she jerked up, spilling some of the water. “Did you get a good enough view?”
He opened his mouth, but no words came out. Without waiting for his reply, she stormed away. Damon flopped backward, letting his body float. His mind drifted to images of making love to Renee in the river. After he helped her over her phobia, somehow. Hmm, he could kiss her down there while she treaded water.

Nah, she’d never go for it. This is a business trip. No time for sleeping with the staff, no matter how sexy they are when arguing with him.

 

About the Author
Author Ivy Keating headshot
Andrea has always created characters and stories. But it wasn’t until she was in her late twenties that she started writing novels.

What happened that ignited the writing flame in her fingers? Divorced, and disillusioned by love songs and stories. They exaggerate. She thought. Love and Romance are not like that in the real world. Then she met her husband and realized, yes love and romance are exactly like the songs and stories say. She is now a happy wife, and a mom to three kids (two boys and a girl).

Andrea writes paranormal and historical romance. When not writing or reading, one may find Andrea dancing in Zumba.

She believes in the power of change and counting each moment as a blessing. But most importantly, she believes in love.

Web site | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Blog | Pinterest

 

 

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Spotlight on #ScienceFiction: Camouflage by @ivy_keating & @scottspotson

Hi Everyone! For those of you in the US, hope you had a nice Thanksgiving, yesterday. I’m so happy it’s raining in San Francisco, and the AQI is now in the green zone, down from the weeks of concerning red and purple zones. For your reading pleasure, here’s a look at a science fiction story from fellow Champagne Books authors Ivy Keating and Scott Spotson. Info and excerpt below. Happy reading! xo, Celia… p.s. Be sure to watch their trailer, too…it’s really good!

Camouflage by Ivy Keating and Scott Spotson book cover image

 
Title: Camouflage
Author: Ivy Keating and Scott Spotson
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Champagne Books
Date of Publication: September 23, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-947128-54-5
Page Count: 241

A missing man, a new police chief and an unexpected New England town mystery.

When Sean Dermott, the newly appointed police chief, sees the report that a popular local high school coach is missing, his growing fascination with the alluring Vanessa Strauss, who reported the disappearance, makes him determined to solve the case.

The investigation leads him and his team deep into Quarry Head Park, a local scenic preserve with nature trails and expansive views. There is no sign of the missing man, but what they do find terrifies them to the core.

From the depths of the park, a deadly prehistoric looking creature emerges. It attacks swiftly and silently, leaving devastation in its wake. In the chaos which follows, it is up to Chief Dermott and a team of scientists to fight for balance by ensuring the safety of his town and preserving this remarkable discovery.

He will risk his career, his reputation and even his own life to stand by what he believes to be right. The question is, will he succeed, or will all be lost?

Champagne Books | Amazon | GoodReads | Watch The Trailer –>

Camouflage Excerpt

The following week on Monday, when Sean returned to work, he found new information on the homicide in Lakeside Park in his inbox.

“The fingerprints lifted from the evidence belong to Marcus Branca. He is now the number one suspect. He’s also the prime suspect in a robbery caught on tape in Litchfield. The security video from the drugstore robbery and a mug shot are attached.”

The next paragraph got him thinking.

“A current address for the suspect is not confirmed. His mother, Evelyn Branca lives at 201 Daleview Circle in Norwalk, Connecticut. A transcript of her statement is attached. She stated the last time she saw her son was two years ago in October when he asked her for money.”

He’s robbing close to home. He has no confirmed address, and he last called his mother two years ago.

Sean’s gut told him—she’s lying.

He closed the email to focus on the open cases within his department.

The results of the forensic tests from the soil samples should be in.

He placed the call to the lab. The receptionist told him the tests were completed and transferred him to a technician who gave him the results. “The soil samples you sent over came up negative for synthetic and natural rubber. No trace metals either. We found nothing man-made in it.”

Sean thanked the woman. Nothing then.

He glanced at the time on his computer screen. In one hour, he needed to attend a seminar on emergency protocols as outlined by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, given at the University of Connecticut. He turned off his computer, preparing to leave when he saw Ryan standing in the doorway.

Sean waved him in. “What’s up?”

“I have the report I promised on Jason Kenner last week.”

“Including what happened to the car and the credit card statements?”

“Yes. And some information from recent bank records,” Ryan said, handing Sean a hard copy.
“Have a seat.”

“Remember the name on the account, Marsha Philips?”

Sean nodded.

“She’s an old girlfriend who lives in Albany, New York, about two hours away. I was able to speak with her.”

“What did she say?”

“They lived together, and she was crushed he’s missing. It sounded like Marsha cared very deeply about him, so I asked what the nature of their relationship was today. She said they’re just friends. They broke up because he has a gambling problem.”

“Is that why he has so many credit cards?”

“Yeah. He uses cash advances to get money. Marsha said he’s been doing that for years. He wanted her to open a card in her name and take out an advance for him. She refused and gave him an ultimatum. Get help for his addiction, or it’s over. He never got help.”

“Does she know there’s a credit card statement in her name going to his house?”

“She does. She knows he opened a card in her name illegally, but she doesn’t want to press charges. Two months ago, Jason told her that he owed someone money and they’re after him. He asked Marsha if she could loan him two thousand dollars, but she refused. He opened the card without her permission but then called her to confess what he’d done and closed the account. She feels terrible for him. She said he’s a good man; he just has a problem.”

“That’s very forgiving considering what he did,” Sean said.

“Yup, but the story checks out. I followed up with the credit card carrier, and they did receive a request to close the account. And there’s more. Marsha said when they first started dating Jason owed someone $11,000 for betting on football games. He was so scared they would come after him, he told her if he didn’t get the money he’d have to leave town. She gave him a small loan, and he took a second job to cover the rest. Marsha said he would tell her he stopped gambling, but she knows he never did. He was always short of money the entire time they were together.”

“I’m a little surprised none of his friends said anything. There’s nothing in the file about it,” Sean said, wondering if Vanessa knew about Jason’s addiction.

“From the way Marsha spoke—he was good at hiding it. He held a steady job, and for the most part they had a good relationship.”

“I can see that. Jason’s very popular around here. He was working with kids coaching the winning basketball team. Looks like a model citizen. Any idea who he owes money to?”

“Not yet, but his landlady said he hasn’t paid his rent in two months. I did some checking, and he’s behind on all his other bills. There are some illegal gambling operations in neighboring towns that local law enforcement is building cases against. I could contact them.”

“Yes. Do that.”

He nodded. “Right away.”

“Oh, did you find out what happened to his car?” Sean asked, standing and gathering his things.
“As a matter of fact, yes.” Ryan followed Sean to the door. “The car was repossessed for non-payment. He hadn’t paid in almost six months. It was pure coincidence it was taken away now.”

“See what else you can find and keep me updated.”

Ryan returned to his office, and Sean left the station. On the way to his police car, he detoured into the building next door which housed the Animal Control Department.

After exchanging greetings with Officer Benjamin Gibson, the head of Animal Control, Sean asked if anyone claimed the dog he found.

“No such luck. No one’s called, and the poor creature’s been staying at the animal hospital since you had him brought in,” Ben said.

“How come?”

“He tested positive for Lyme disease. He’ll be okay, but they wanted to start him on antibiotics so they kept him there.”

Sean rubbed his chin. The dog’s been through enough. “If no one calls you today, I’m going to pick him up and take him home.”

“Good for you,” Ben said with a smile. “Hey. Since you’re here, a video just came in of a mutilated animal in Quarry Head Park. Want to take a look?”

“Someone filmed it?”

“Yeah.”

“I don’t have much time. Is it long?”

“Not at all. Just shy of two minutes.”

“Sure. Let me see.”

“I just want you to be prepared. It’s pretty gross.”

“I appreciate the warning,” Sean said, even more interested.

Ben pulled the file up on the computer and turned the screen toward Sean.

The camera caught every angle of the gruesome sight. Sean flinched. What the hell?

The body in the footage looked like a deer. The features on its face were squashed; the eyes no longer clearly defined. The neck of the animal was bent in the middle—the head lay flat on the ground twisted to one side. Two stumps, which were once the deer’s front legs, jutted out just past its ears. Its back legs were crushed and wedged into position under its belly. Even more bizarre, the lifeless mass had a gelatinous looking coating over its entire body.

“Do we know what happened to it?”

“No. The footage was taken by a fifteen-year-old boy on his cellphone. He was riding his bike with a friend in Quarry Head Park. They went off the path, and his friend fell from the bike when he hit this dead animal.”

“Who gave you the video?”

“His mother sent it in by email. She wanted to make sure someone cleaned it up before anyone else got hurt. She said her son’s friend developed an itchy rash from the slime covering the animal’s body.”

Sean pointed to a marker on a tree in the video. “This is next to the yellow path,” he said. “Hold off on removing the animal for just a few hours. I have to go to a seminar at the University of Connecticut, but when I come back I want to take a look at it myself.”

“Sure. Hey, when you get to the school you should talk to Dr. Greg Mitchell. You can show him the video.”

“Why? Who is he?”

“Greg’s a professor at the University and the head of the Biology Department. He knows a lot about animals and specializes in herpetology.”

“Herpetology? The study of reptiles?” Sean asked.

“That’s right. Actually it’s reptiles and amphibians, so he covers both land and water. Greg lives right here in town. Last year he helped us relocate a Bog Turtle found in someone’s yard. They’re endangered, you know.”

“But even I can see this looks like a deer.”

“I know, but he’s very knowledgeable. He might be able to help. Anyway, it’s just a suggestion, and you’ll be there anyway.”

“Okay, can you send me the video?”

“Not a problem. I’ll email it to you now.”

Sean thanked Ben and left for the University. Once in his cruiser he scrunched his nose, mulling over the grisly video. Natural causes or foul play?

 

About the Authors
Author Ivy Keating headshot
Motivated by nature’s mysteries and the complexity of human behaviour, Ivy Keating writes science fiction and fantasy novels exploring the relationship between mankind and the natural world. A master’s degree in social work helps her explore the nature of her characters and give them added depth as they grapple with the repercussions of their actions. This novel was inspired by the landscape and natural beauty of New England. An area that inspired the question… what if?

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Scott Spotson, has written nine books, and specializes in science fiction and urban fantasy. His best-selling book, Life II, was twice selected by the largest independent on-line book discounter, Book Bub, as a recommended read.
 

 

Spotlight on #Fantasy #Romance: A Guardian’s Hope by @ReneeWildes

Hi Everyone! Hiding out with the family in our San Francisco home, avoiding the smoke blanketing our city, I’m getting a lot of reading accomplished. Here’s a look at a fantasy romance series by fellow Champagne Books author Renee Wildes. I’ve added this one to my TBR and look forward to experiencing Renee’s take on the Sleeping Beauty story. More info and excerpt below. Happy reading! xo, Celia

A Guardian's Hope (Guardians of Light series, Book 2) by Renee Wildes Book Cover

 
Title: A Guardian’s Hope
Series/#: Guardians of Light series, Book 2
Author: Renee Wildes
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Champagne Books
Date of Publication: September 4, 2018
ASIN: B07GZY991J
Page Count: 275

An assassin nun. An elven paladin. A ruthless queen who will destroy all they hold dear.

As a child, invaders butchered Maleta’s parents and left her ravaged body for dead. Now, reborn as a finely-honed weapon for the Gray Goddess, Hedda, Maleta has shed the burden of emotions for one goal—regain her homeland for her brother.

Cianan ta Daneal’s mission to the fractured land of Shamar is twofold: to overthrow a despotic queen, and to save a life. For months, he’s been haunted by recurring visions of a beautiful swordswoman slaughtered by a skeleton army. He never expected to lay eyes on that woman and recognize her as his Lifemate—or that she’d turn and run like hell.

Uniting Shamar’s diverse peoples in revolt is easy compared to the delicate task of wooing a woman who flinches from his touch.

Slowly, Maleta dares to hope that her country, what’s left of her family, and her shattered heart are safe in Cianan’s steady hands. But when the cold blade of fate strikes true, can she trust his love is strong enough to pull her back from the Abyss?

Warning: This new twist on Sleeping Beauty contains an assassin nun who knows no fear. Okay, just one fear, but it’s a biggie. And an Elven paladin with the Devil’s own negotiating skills. To coax her heart out of hiding, he’s gonna need every one of them.

Champagne Books | Amazon | B&N

A Guardian’s Hope Excerpt

Maleta sighed and speared a chunk of carrot. This place gave her the creeps. Too many hired killers with dark auras. She rolled her stiffening shoulder again.

The door banged open as three men entered with the wind.

“Heyla, Cary,” the tallest one called to the barkeep. “Any hot cider left?”

“Still whining ’bout the cold?” Cary poured three dippers of steaming cider into a tankard and slid it down the bar. “You ain’t even seen cold yet.”

The men in the room laughed, a sound of camaraderie, not mockery.

Maleta stared at the newcomer. His aura shone different from the others, his pure soul blinding gold in the surrounding Darkness. Why was a paladin in a place like this?

His head snapped around. She cursed her curiosity as his piercing cobalt gaze collided with hers. Something shifted in his appearance, a mask of the mind she couldn’t see past, as if her eyes saw one thing and her mind another. Meal or nay, now she’d the information she sought, she should move on.

Too late. He stalked toward her with the fluid swing of a lifelong horseman, tankard cradled in both hands as if warming them. The body of a sinner, on a saint. Her breath caught in her throat as he neared. There were few men who could look her in the eye. She’d reach this man’s chin. Maleta tensed as he stopped on the other side of the table. Unable to tear her gaze from the unwavering intensity of his, she trembled as his scent, like fresh-cut fir boughs with a warm hint of musk, surrounded her. Who was this man? Trouble, in more than the obvious. Why did he single her out?

“Heyla, Shield-Maiden,” he said in a voice as rich and smooth as rare drenieval whiskey. The underlying lethal heat in his voice could rob the unwary of their senses. “I have not seen you here afore.” He held out a hand. “My name is Cianan.”

She eyed that hand, unwilling to touch him, sensing ’twould give him too much knowledge, too much power. Long musician’s fingers with archer’s calluses. Even without their hands touching, the truth of his name pierced the shadows around her soul, the shadows of lies and pretext that were her new identity.

Maleta stared at him, helpless not to. Those eyes drew her in, promising things she couldn’t even comprehend. They weren’t the eyes of a saint. Too blue, too knowing. Long raven hair glinted blue-black in the firelight. Foreign accent, not one she recognized, with a lilt she couldn’t place. Charm she trusted not at all.

She focused on slowing her pounding heart, forced herself to breathe. “What you want?”

His lips quirked in a smile. “Many things, Lady, but I would begin with your name.”

“Why should I be giving that out?”

He just smiled, but his eyes studied her. Watchful. Probing. Aware. Too aware.

Time to end this. “My name and business are mine.” She stood.

He raised a hand. “Nay, finish eating. I shall go. But tell me your name first.”

“Sonja.”

Knowledge of the lie flashed in his eyes, and she curled her fists with impotent fury. Damn paladin. What game was this?

“I bid you a good evening, Sonja.” He dipped his head and returned to his friends at the bar.

So much for rooming overnight here. She downed the rest of her meal, gathered her pack, then fled the tavern. The cold air cleared her head. It wouldn’t be the first time she’d been forced to camp out in the open. She didn’t enjoy it, but she’d survive. She always did. Please, Hedda, don’t let him follow.

 

About the Author
Author Renee Wildes headshot
Renee Wildes grew up reading fantasy authors Terry Brooks and Mercedes Lackey and is a huge Joseph Campbell fan, so the minute she discovered romance novels it became inevitable that she would combine it all and write fantasy romance. Renee is a history buff and research junkie, from ancient to medieval times, esp. the Dark Ages. As a Navy brat and a cop’s kid, she gravitated to protector/guardian heroes and heroines. She’s had horses her whole life, so became the only vet tech in a family of nurses. It all comes together in her Guardians of Light series – fantasy, action, romance, heroics, and lots of critters!

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Spotlight on #ScienceFiction: Siren’s Song by K. M. Tolan

Hello Dear Readers! Here’s a sci-fi treat for you, from fellow Champagne author, K. M. Tolan. I was K. M.’s editor for this fab story and let me tell you, it’s one heck of a fun sci-fi ride. More info and excerpt below. Happy reading! xo, Celia

Siren's Song by K M Tolan Book Cover

 
Title: Siren’s Song
Author: K. M. Tolan
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Champagne Books
Date of Publication: July 4, 2016
ISBN: 9781771552424
Page Count: 270
Award: Finalist, Science Fiction category, 2018 Epic Awards

He was of two minds about everything, and one of them wasn’t human.

Humans call the crystalline creatures Sirens. They can kill with a scream. Decapitate with a single slash of their cutting fins. The aliens are the most vicious life form Earth has ever encountered, and Scott has one trapped in his mind. Her name is Water, and her hatred for Scott’s species is only matched by her desire to be free of him.

Scott couldn’t agree more, but neither of them understand the cost of letting her out.
In order to save their sanity, Scott and Water have to save her people.

Amazon | B&N | iTunes

Siren’s Song Excerpt

The mountain lion snarled, baring yellowed fangs. It should be running for the high country, not swishing its tail at him.

Swallowing back his growing dread, Scott eased two big knives from their holsters on his pant legs. “Get out while you can, kitty. I seriously don’t want to do this.”

Kitty didn’t understand the message. The animal’s shoulders bunched.

Fear rose in Scott’s throat. He edged closer to a red fir next to the cabin, knowing how nature intended these issues to resolve. Nature, however, didn’t figure on his particular madness. The source of his twisting guts had nothing to do with the cougar. It was already dead. He reached into a part of himself a legion of psychologists had failed to lock down. The imaginary fishbowl in his head. Scott shoved the lid back with a shudder. He saw her clearly, coiled up in a crystalline ball. He always saw her, thanks to those damn crystals stuck in his skull.

Water.

His personal demon stirred much like a snake rising from a lethargic torpor. Snakes didn’t sing, though. Nor did they look like a murderous sea angel rendered in crystal, fins rippling with bioluminescent menace.

Why do you wake me, thief? Her reply was a melodic vibration through his skull, serrated with venomous undertones.

“Something for you to kill.”

 

About the Author

K. M. Tolan is a science fiction and fantasy author with seven books published through Burst Books (Champagne Books SF/F imprint). His first two novels in the “Blade Dancer” series were both finalists in the EPIC E-book Awards for Science Fiction. “Blade Dancer” was accepted into the Cushing Memorial Library and Archives at Texas A&M. “Rogue Dancer” received his publisher’s award for best novel of the year, as did his first fantasy “Tracks” (which also made the EPIC E-book finalist list). Mr. Tolan is a software engineer, a combat veteran, and lives near Austin, Texas.

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Spotlight on #UrbanFantasy: Mostly Innocent by @AuthorJMJinks

Hi Everyone! I’m pleased to present a new release by author J. M. Jinks. I was her editor for this fab story. If you like snarky, kickass heroines and heroes with big hearts and a whole lot of brawn, check it out. Happy reading! xo, Celia

New Release in Urban Fantasy: Mostly Innocent Book Tour Book Spotlight

Mostly Innocent Book Cover

Mostly Innocent
A Powers That Be Novel
Book One
J.M. Jinks

Genre: Paranormal Romance / Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Champagne Books

Date of Publication: 10/22/2018

ISBN: 978-1-947128-63-7

Word Count: 72K

If you can’t beat them, seduce them

Meet Layla James, your typical smart and snarky chick—except for the whole succubus thing. After nearly a millennium on Earth, Layla’s settled down in a boring life in Palm Springs, until a smoking-hot hunter comes to arrest her for murder. But Layla knows the rules—she’d never kill someone and incite the wrath of The Powers That Be.

Elijah Daines is a hunter, maintaining the balance of good and evil in the mortal realm, his power stronger than any hunter she’s ever encountered. Plus, he’s a seriously sexy distraction. Too bad he’s accused her of a crime she didn’t commit.

As the killer continues a murder spree that not only frames Layla but threatens to expose the existence of supernatural creatures to humans, Layla and Elijah team up to investigate. Hopefully, they can fight off their escalating attraction for each other long enough to exonerate her and stop the murder madness.

Amazon

Mostly Innocent Excerpt

He approached the counter. I, or maybe my succubus, decided on a whim I would not be intimidated by his power. I wasn’t sure where my sudden courage came from. He had to have felt my succubus signature. We weren’t a violent race when we controlled our urges. I’m Queen of Control over here. I’m sure he knows I won’t, hurt him. Right?

But why was he here? Something must have been wrong.

As I walked toward him, I got a better look. His dark hair was in slight disarray and his bright blue eyes scoured my face. He towered over me in every sense of the word.

He and Jolene should go back-to-back so I can get an accurate measure of his height.

I shook away my thoughts of him–it was obvious he came here on a mission. Greek god or not, he was still a hunter, and I–I was a product of evil, aka something he hunts.

“Succubus,” he growled. The one little word was filled with eons of unabashed hatred.

The word vibrated through me. All hopes of him wanting a new bathroom paint color vanished. No, this visit wasn’t going to be pleasant, not at all.

Perhaps I could seduce him. Hell, he could do me right on the floor of aisle nine next to the light fixtures, if it kept him from killing me. I bit my lip. But…hunters weren’t typically susceptible to succubi charms. A failed attempt of Aprhodisia could earn more problems.

I released a breath. Some buried deep natural instinct rolled through me again. With that feeling, I decided to stand my ground. I looked him in the eyes, stood up straighter, and replied, “Hunter?”

 

About the Author

J.M. Jinks was born and raised in Southern California. She lives with her husband, two dogs, and two cats in her hometown. J.M. has a Bachelor’s in French and a Master’s of Education. She is a teacher by day and a writer by night. J.M. and her husband welcomed a baby boy in May 2018.

J.M. has always had a love of reading that progressed into writing. Mostly Innocent is her first completed manuscript.

Web site | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

 

#Halloween in #SanFrancisco: Celia’s Spooky Spots Picks

pumpkin Happy Halloween, Dear Readers!

On the 30th of every month, I’m a guest blogger on the Decadent Diva’s blog. This month, I posted my top five picks for creepy places to visit in San Francisco, and I’m sharing the list here today, too, for you! If you’re ever in San Francisco, consider adding these places to your must-visit list! (p.s. Last chance to enter the Halloween Spooktacular giveaway – details below!)

Spooky Spots in #San Francisco

My hometown is a beautiful combo of nature and architecture, has some of the nicest weather year round (including the awesome fog), excellent cuisine, abundant arts, and… for you lovers of the paranormal, there are a ton of spooky spots to explore, some of which make an appearance in my vampire series, The Tranquilli Bloodline.

Here are my top picks for chills and thrills in San Francisco…

  1. The Armory
    Located in the Mission District, this 200,000 square foot reproduction of a Moorish Castle was constructed in the early 1900s and used by the San Francisco National Guard. From 2006 until January 2018, it was owned by an adult entertainment company, and tours were available for all five floors of the historic building. My favorite floor by far is the wonderfully creepy basement: a vast, cavernous space with visible remnants of its days as an armory (indoor rifle range!). Water runs through wide cracks in the basement floor’s exposed concrete, adding to the spooky vibe.
  2. sf armory, photo credit - Hoodline dot com news, february 2018

  3. Alcatraz Island
    Also known as “The Rock,” Alcatraz sits in the San Francisco Bay, and is home to a large seabird population, the West Coast’s oldest functional lighthouse, and, of course, the infamous maximum, high-security prison, Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary. You can guess the spookiest part, right? They say ghost of ex-cons haunt the prison. Take a nighttime tour and let them shut you in one of the 9ft by 5ft cells…if you dare. ::shiver::
  4. Sutro Baths, Ocean Beach
    Once upon a time (1896), this bathhouse was the world’s largest, indoor swimming facility. Located near Ocean Beach and below Cliff House, Sutro Baths burned to the ground in 1966 (arson). Today, you can hike around the ruins then venture into the spookiest spot of all: the cave. For the best spine tingling experience, try it at night, when the fog swirls and the wind whips and wails, and the waves crash over the beach. Some say if you light a candle and leave it in the tunnel, a ghost will pick it up and fling it into the ocean…
  5. Stow Lake, Golden Gate Park
    Modeled after NYC’s Central Park, Golden Gate Park is a gorgeous expanse of greenery in San Francisco. Stow Lake (located west of the beautiful Japanese Tea Garden), is a great spot for picnics and a boat ride. If you venture there at night, beware of the lake’s resident ghost, the White Lady. Barefoot and dressed in a white dress, rumor has it she lost her baby in the lake then drowned herself (in the early 1900s). There’s also a statue near the lake of a woman and two small children. They say it moves when the White Lady is on the prowl.
  6. cemetery yard decorations

  7. Mission Dolores Cemetery
    What’s spookier than a cemetery? Mission Dolores Cemetery is the oldest burial ground in San Francisco and the resting place of city founders, criminals, and thousands of First Californians (the Ohlone). It’s also one of the locations in Hitchcock’s 1958 classic film, “Vertigo.” You’ll find the cemetery next to the oldest building in San Francisco, Mission Dolores. Tour both, but don’t be surprised if the hairs on your nape stand at attention as you wander through the cemetery gardens, among the ancient tombstones and silent sentinel statues. Spooky energy, even on a sunny day…


 

Haunted Halloween Spooktacular Giveaway

My Tranquilli Bloodline vampires and Black Hills Wolves are still on tour with Bewitching Book Tour’s multi-author Halloween event (through Halloween!). Enter the Bewitching Book Tours Halloween Spooktacular rafflecopter giveaway for a chance at e-gift cards and books!

That’s all for now, Dear Readers. Happy Halloween! xo, Celia

PHOTO CREDIT, ARMORY PHOTO:Hoodline News

Chat, Games, & #Giveaways: Haunted #Halloween #Facebook Party TODAY 10/24

Hi Everyone! It’s party time!

Wander over to Facebook TODAY to hang out with the authors of Bewitching Book Tours Haunted Halloween Spooktacular! Join us for games, prizes, Halloween fun, and lots of giveaways!

When: All day, Wednesday, October 24, 2018, starting at 12 p.m. EST

Chat with CELIA: I’ll be there at 1 p.m. EST (10 a.m. PST) with my vampires, werewolves, and, of course, some prezzies to win.

Also appearing: Jena Baxter, Laura Bickle, London Clarke, Nancy Gideon, Chantel Simper, Tena Stetler, Carolyn Walker, Kirsten Weiss.

Host: The fabulous Roxanne Rhoads of Bewitching Book Tours, of course!

Hope to see you all there!

xo,
Celia

 

Spotlight on #ParanormalRomance: Light Untamed by @authorbonniegil

Hello Dear Readers! Today we welcome Bonnie Gill to the blog, with the latest installment in her paranormal romance series. Read two excerpts and enter her giveaway. Happy reading! xo, Celia

Light Untamed
L.A.M.P.S.
Legends and Myth Police Squad
Book 3 Three
Bonnie Gill

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Date of Publication: October 24, 2018
Word Count: 64,181
Cover Artist: Fiona Jayde

Holy fire-farting Hell Hounds.

Pet lover and animal activist Pepper Peterson has a secret. She inherited the caretaker position of the notorious Hell Hounds from her deceased aunt. Every year on Halloween she opens the gates to hell and sets them free to mark the souls of the damned. Only this year she lost the magic whistle to call them home and the massive black beasts run amok causing mischief in the town.

Ottar Jones holds the position of senior boss man at L.A.M.P.S. (Legends and Myths Police Squad) secret government agency. Ottar appalls Pepper. He’s the most barbaric man she’s ever met, but she can’t stop thinking about the sexy brute. When he finally chooses to show up to repair her dinosaur statue, it couldn’t have happened at a worse time.

Ottar’s calendar has been packed full of mythical beasts to capture. Upon return to Haber Cove for his friend River’s wedding he has to contend with the crazy but hot vegan’s dinosaur, but a surprise awaits him. Haber Cove is infested with flesh-eating, ankle-biting Jack-a-lopes, and a pack of large black Hell Hounds. Will all hell break loose when he finds who let the dogs out? Or will Pepper turn out to be the one woman who can tame the savage Aussie hunter?

Amazon

More books from the L.A.M.P.S. series: Where hunky secret agents find true love while hunting dangerous Cryptids…

Tempting The Light, Book One
On Sale for .99
until October 30, 2018

Pursuing the Light, Book Two

Light Untamed Excerpts

Excerpt 1:

Pepper needed to put as much distance between her and Ottar as possible. That kiss. Oh my gosh. He was a master. The possessive, wild kiss made her want to strip his clothes and take his exquisite body next to the stream. What the heck had gotten into her?
Did he really believe that crap about an attraction spell? Nonsense talking Aussie. There was no way she spelled him while she and Abby were trying to banish the evil jinn. Ottar must be one of those crazy conspiracy theory people, though, she’d never pegged him as paranoid.
She gunned the gas and took off down the overgrown path into the forest.
A gunshot sounded. Pain exploded in her upper arm. Glancing down at the blood on her sleeve, she looked up too late. A low branch smacked her across the chest. She flew off the four-wheeler and crashed onto the ground.
Her body throbbed. The coolness from the dirt chilled her spine. Breathe.
Ottar ran toward her, screaming, with his gun drawn.
The bastard shot her? First her dinosaur statue and now her. What next? He’d lost his sanity. She’d always suspected something wasn’t right with him. Now she had proof.
Her arm ached, and blood seeped through her sleeve. The pounding of her heart accelerated, each beat almost blending into the next.
Ottar closed in, but she wasn’t going to let him finish the job. Was the kiss so upsetting that he wanted to kill her?

 

Excerpt 2:
Pepper Peterson stabbed the damp soil with a screwdriver, then placed the tampon stick into the hole. “I need more ammunition,” she called out to her bestie in the dark.
Abby brought over an unopened box of womanly necessities. “I’m not opening it. Nah uh. How come you’re so dead set on doing this?”
Pepper peeled away the plastic wrapper. Her friend refused to open tampon boxes ever since an evil Genie popped out of one and cursed her to become the Jersey Devil every time she got her period. They broke the spell, but she didn’t blame Abby for having the phobia.
“Because Keith stood me up for Charlotte. Look, you can see them watching television.” She pointed to the six-inch crack in the curtains covering the big picture window of the small blue home. Two people sat on the couch, their heads close. “I have to teach him there are consequences for being a rat bastard.”
Keith had broken their date, saying he’d be out of town for work. Liar. She planted another tampon in the ground. Perfect for mushrooming, the old fashion tampons perched on a stick applicator instead of the plastic push kind, standing tall with the string flapping in the evening breeze.
A slight October chill nipped at the back of her exposed neck, causing her to shiver. “The cotton will absorb the night’s dew and expand, causing it to mushroom. That’s why this technique was named Mushrooming. In the morning, he’ll see our message spelled out in the yard.” She couldn’t wait. “Hey, does River still have those surveillance cameras?”
She’d love to see Keith’s face when he saw the full-bloomed tampons.
“They’re at the police station. Maybe we could break in and get one?”
Her bestie never shied away from Pepper’s escapades, even though she was set to marry the Sherriff in a couple weeks.
Abby and River had a great relationship. Maybe someday she’d find someone who would love her unconditionally like her friend did.
Fat chance.
Most men bailed on her after they met her large herd of rescued pups. She could only imagine what they’d do if they found out about her family’s secret.
“Car,” Abby called out.
They darted next door into the empty field and ducked down behind the three-foot tall weeds. When the tail lights of the vehicle faded into the night, they strolled toward Keith’s lawn.
“Come on, we’re almost done,” Pepper said.
“Where on earth did you find these old things?” Abby asked.
“My aunt had purchased a buttload, and I have another full carton in the attic. She must have found a great deal, or maybe they fell off a truck. Who knows.” A total packrat, her Aunt had enough cases of toilet paper stashed in the house to last her years. Her heart still ached even though her Aunt died years ago.
“I can’t let Keith get away with standing me up. Or other guys will think it’s okay to bail on me for another woman. It only takes one time of slacking and they get reprogramed. Men are like dogs, you can’t give them an inch. They need constant discipline.” She’d learned her lesson early on with her dog rescue.
“I hate to say this,” Abby said, “but you have a reputation for dumping your men after the second or third date. Don’t you think he beat you to the breakup?” She handed Pepper another tampon.
I have a reputation? News to her. Okay, maybe she did tend to break things off after a few dates. Big deal. If she got the yuckies for them, she wasn’t going to waste her time or theirs. She could tell if it wasn’t a good fit after a few dates. “I don’t think it’s fair to string them along. Besides, he didn’t break up with me. He postponed our date and lied.”
Abby hummed as she placed the tampons into the ground. They’d both dressed in black from head to toe for the mission. After sticking the last tampon in the yard they stepped back to admire their artwork. LOSER was spelled out across his lawn, the letters perfectly executed so there’d be no mistaking the message.
Grinning, Pepper snapped a few photos with her phone as headlights flared in the distance.
“Car,” Abby called out again.
They darted to the vacant lot and ducked down behind the brush. The car slowed as it passed by Keith’s house. A street light in front of his property made the tampons glow in the dark like a scarlet letter.
“Umm, Pepper,” Abby said in a shaky voice.
“I’m right here.” She crept over to her friend in the damp weeds.
“I think we have to call River.”
Oh no. “What in heaven’s name for?” Could her friend be chickening out? River would totally make them remove all the tampons.
Abby pointed to her left. “There’s a dead body. I almost touched it.” She danced around, flinging her hands about. “Ewww.”
A large man lay face down on the ground. Bending over, Pepper grabbed his wrist. No pulse. His skin cold to the touch. Her heart pumped faster and almost jumped to her throat. Ick. Now she’d touched a dead person. Dropping his arm, she wiped her hands on her pants. Cooties!
“Who is it?” Abby took a step away.
“Heck if I know.” He wore tan pants and a dark shirt, but she couldn’t see his face. His legs were sprawled and bent at odd angles. She breathed in the clean pine scent of the night’s crisp air. At least he didn’t smell dead.

About the Author

Bonnie Gill grew up in the suburbs right outside Chicago. As a child she loved making up ghost stories at night to scare her sisters and friends.

She writes Paranormal Romance with a twist of humor. When she isn’t writing you can find her on a haunted tour, volunteering at pet rescues, or digging around in her fairy garden waiting for fairies to show.

She lives in Northern Illinois with her three rescue dogs and her ever patient boyfriend who laughs at all her goofy jokes.

She loves to hear from her readers.

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Amazon Author page | Bookbub

Tour Giveaway

***$25.00 Amazon Gift Card***
Enter Bonnie’s Bewitching Tour Rafflecopter giveaway –>

 

#Halloween Spooktacular Spotlight on #fantasy: GS Denning’s Warlock Holmes Series

Hi Everyone! Another author participing in the Bewitching Halloween Spooktacular event, G. S. Denning, is here today with his fun series and, of course, the event’s fab giveaway. Enjoy! xo, Celia

Warlock Holmes – A Study in Brimstone
Warlock Holmes
Book One
G.S. Denning

Publisher: Titan Books
Publication Date: May 17, 2016
ASIN: B014BQVKUC

Sherlock Holmes is a genius … Warlock Holmes is something else …

Sherlock Holmes is an unparalleled genius. Warlock Holmes is an idiot. A font of arcane power, certainly. But he’s brilliantly dim.

Frankly, he couldn’t deduce his way out of a paper bag. The only thing he has really got going for him are the might of a thousand demons and his stalwart companion.

Thankfully, Dr. Watson is always there to aid him through the treacherous shoals of Victorian propriety… and save him from a gruesome death every now and again.

Amazon

Warlock Holmes – The Hell-Hound of the Baskervilles
Warlock Holmes
Book Two
G.S. Denning

Publisher: Titan Books
Publication Date: May 16, 2017
ASIN: B01KRUN0IQ

Sherlock Holmes is a genius … Warlock Holmes is something else …

The game’s afoot once more as Holmes and Watson face off against Moriarty’s gang, the Pinkertons, flesh-eating horses, a parliament of imps, boredom, Surrey, a disappointing butler demon, a succubus, a wicked lord, an overly-Canadian lord, a tricycle-fight to the death and the dreaded Pumpcrow. Oh, and a hell hound, one assumes.

Amazon

Warlock Holmes – My Grave Ritual
Warlock Holmes
Book Three
G.S. Denning

Publisher: Titan Books
Publication Date: May 15, 2018
ASIN: B075WCS6WZ

Sherlock Holmes is a genius … Warlock Holmes is something else …

As they blunder towards doom, Warlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson find themselves inconvenienced by a variety of eldritch beings. Christmas brings a goose that doesn’t let being cooked slow it down; they meet an electricity demon, discover why being a redhead is even tricker than one might imagine, and Holmes attempts an Irish accent. And, naturally, Moriarty is hanging around… in some form or other.

Amazon

About the Author

G.S. Denning furiously studied reading and math until he could play Dungeons and Dragons. His love of DandD expanded to a passion for all things in the sci-fi and fantasy realm, particularly when spliced with comedy – Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Monty Python, Red Dwarf, Black Adder, Whose Line is it Anyway, Dr. Who, and the holiest of holies: The Princess Bride.

He learned his story-telling skills on the improv stage as a member of Orlando Theatersports, Seattle Theatersports, Jet City Improv, and as a Disney Performer at Epcot. G.S. also worked for Nintendo and Wizards of the Coast.

Finally, after realizing that humanity had not used the pun Warlock Holmes yet, he sat down to begin his first novel series: a dark-comic retelling of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic Sherlock Holmes stories. G.S. Lives in Las Vegas with The Best Wife and The Best Children.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Bewitching Spooktacular Tour Giveaway

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#Halloween #Recipe + #Gothic #Thriller: The Meadows by @LondonClarke2

Hello Dear Readers! The Bewitching Halloween Fun continues with author London Clarke’s Gothic Thriller, The Meadows, plus a recipe for a Halloween treat. Enjoy! xo, Celia

Recipe for Chocolate Swamp Pie

Pie Crust

  • 2 cups flour
  • ¾ cup Crisco
  • dash of salt
  • 1 egg and 4-5 tablespoons of ice
    water

  • 1 teaspoon of vinegar

Mix salt and shortening in with flour. Mix together with spoon. Beat up egg with fork and add to mixture. Scoop tablespoons of water into the mixture. Add tsp of vinegar. Mixture will be
stiff. Chill for 2-3 hours. Cover with saran wrap until ready to mash into a
pie pan.

Pie Filling

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 and 1/2 squares of baking chocolate

Melt butter and chocolate. Beat eggs, add sugar, beat well. Add cream and vanilla. Mix well. Add melted mixture and mix all ingredients together. Pour into unbaked crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

The Meadows
Legacy of Darkness
Book One
London Clarke
Genre: Gothic suspense; supernatural thriller
Publisher: Carfax Abbey Publishing

Date of Publication: October 2018
ISBN: 9781386765233
Cover Artist: Stephen Lee Designs

Bed, breakfast, and blood.

A decades-old murder. A strange, blood-thirsty cult. And a house full of spirits.

It was supposed to be a new beginning, a fresh start in the Shenandoah Valley, where Scarlett’s memories weren’t riddled with drug addiction and rehab. But after purchasing an abandoned house with a checkered past in the hopes of transforming it into a luxury bed and breakfast, strange things start to happen. Disturbing voices and noises interrupt her new life. Strangers appear to her, bearing cryptic warnings. A tunnel is discovered underneath the house—one historically used for a local cult’s rituals. After several of Scarlett’s guests are hospitalized after visiting the underground, she finds herself targeted by violent spirits.

Driven to the edge of despair, Scarlett vows to fight back—but she has no idea what she’s really battling. And her nightmare is just beginning…

The Meadows is a gripping supernatural thriller in which the monsters may be vampires, demons, or flesh and blood. It is a nightmare that will make you believe it could easily happen to you.

Amazon | Books2Read

Excerpt
Chapter One

October 2019

Asphodel House,
The Meadows

I affixed the camera onto my laptop and held the computer at arm’s length until I could see myself.

There I was. In all my post-rehab glory.

I hadn’t colored my hair since I’d first come out of Orange Star Center six months ago. The blonde highlights had faded, tipping the ends to about halfway up my brown tresses. It looked a little trendy. A little.

Mainly, I looked tired. I hadn’t slept much since the move. Different time zones did all kinds of weird things to me. It was only an hour’s difference between Nashville and here, but it was enough to throw me off.

I smeared on some tinted lip balm and finger-combed my hair, pushing it up into a bun. Straight, heavy bangs hung to the bridge of my nose and over my eyebrows, covering the line knitting together my forehead and my eyebrows. I hated that line. It hadn’t been there seven months ago when I was still feeling no pain most of the time.

I clicked record and settled into the chair, making sure I was square in the shot of the camera.

“Hello, world.”

The first words sounded like pennies at the bottom of an empty piggy bank. Hollow, tinny, awkward. That was a dumb way to begin. But I was live, so couldn’t stop now. I cleared my throat, forced a smile. “Scarlett, here. I know it’s been ages since we’ve talked…”

I shifted my eyes, trying to remember when I’d last film a video blog. “A year, maybe? And just for a change, I’m not coming to you from the Country Music Capital of the World. Nashville and I have parted ways for a time, and I’m broadcasting from my new home in Virginia. You’re catching me on my second day here.”

I hadn’t planned this first live broadcast out very well. How much should I say? Mentally, I scrambled to come up with the rest of my spiel. Little thumbs-up and heart signs were already flashing across the screen.

Glancing behind me, I motioned to the room. “So… this is my new home. Currently under renovation, but it will soon be open for business. Yes, it’s a huge departure from songwriting, but don’t worry … I’ll still be doing plenty of that.”

I lifted the laptop and held it so that it flashed onto the grand piano in the corner of what had once been the front parlor—now, my living room. Then I repositioned it on the table. “My newest adventure is this wonderful old antebellum mansion I’m restoring. Within a few weeks, it’ll be open for guests as a bed and breakfast. I’ll keep you up to date and let you know when you can book a room. I hope to meet a few you in person right here in Virginia. I promise there will be all sorts of grand entertainment. Music, food, maybe a few costumes—it’ll be Halloween, after all—all taking place ri’cheer.” I played up a Nashville accent as I gestured over my shoulder. “In the meantime, I thought I’d play a crowd favorite on this magnificent instrument I’ve just
purchased.”

Again, I shifted the laptop so that the baby grand was in view, and then I padded across the newly polished marble floor and settled in front of the keyboard. My fingers found the keys—like old friends—and the sounds of a perfectly tuned piano reverberated against the ceiling.

I turned back to the camera. “This room has great acoustics.” Then I launched into one of my biggest hits, “People Like You.”

Songwriting was my comfort zone. Well-known stars made my songs into hits; occasionally I performed in a club. But this was the easiest place for me to play and sing to an audience—from the safety of my living room, on camera.

I’d just started to sing the opening to the song when something flashed in my peripheral vision.

I stopped, stared at the entryway to the living room. Had someone just walked by? I listened. Nothing. Glancing up at the screen again, the little thumbs and hearts still floated over the screen. Then a laughing emoji. Several laughing emojis.

Clearing my throat, I started to play the introduction to the song again. “Sorry, folks. I thought someone was … at the door.” I smiled at the camera. “Guess I’m not used to my new home yet.”

I closed my eyes and launched into the melancholy melody of the song. This time I sang it all the way through.

Allowing the ending chord to linger, ripple through me, the bass note vibrating my fingers on the keys, I opened my eyes again. “Thanks for joining me tonight, guys. I’ll be back in a few days with another update on my newest venture. In the meantime, love the one you’re with, remember that you’ve got a friend, and peace, love, and understanding to all.”

It was a corny catch-phrase built on three classic songs, and I still cringed sometimes when I said it, but it had worked for me. Some of the fans told me they really liked it.

I shut off the recording and then hit the arrow in the window to play back the live recording. This was a good way to see what I needed to change for next time—namely, the lighting. Geez, the house looked so dark. I swiveled my head left and then right. Was it actually that dark in here? Three lamps spilled light into the corners, and from where I was sitting the room looked pretty well illuminated. But on the video, it seemed like dark clouds muddied their spotlight effect. Weird.

And I didn’t look too bad on camera. A little tired, maybe, with some dark pits under my eyes, but I’d just have to put on a more makeup next time. I reached the part of the video where I’d stopped playing. My expression changed dramatically. My whole face drooped, suspended, as my gaze was drawn to something in the foyer.

My recovery had been pretty good. Playing through the song a second time with my eyes closed had kept me focused on the moment and the emotion in the music. But there was something in the background—something materializing behind me as I crooned away. It began as a darkening of the screen—as though the lights faded out and the darkness of the scene swelled to fill the space.

I leaned closer to the screen and squinted. Were those eyes? A face? It looked like a woman, leaning over my shoulder as I played and sang. Her features obscured by a great shadow, the whites of her eyes drawing closer to the screen, she peered into the camera.

Gasping, I shot up from the piano stool so quickly it toppled. Then I turned in a 360-degree circle, scanning the walls and corners of the room for the figure in the video. A joke. It had to be. My mind rushed with the possibilities. It was close to Halloween, so maybe the social media site had placed some kind of special effect on videos. Maybe I just didn’t know about it.

My heart drummed, pounding against the inside of my chest until my sternum hurt. I cut my eyes back and forth. No one was in the room with me. I was alone.

 

About the Author:

Obsessed with vampires and haunted houses from a young age, London grew up reading gothic tales featuring romantic and tragic heroes. Wuthering Heights and Dracula are her favorite novels, and although now happily married, she readily confesses that she is a recovering runaway, who once moved to England in search of a man who was the perfect amalgamation of Dracula, Hamlet, Heathcliff, and Mr. Rochester. London holds a B.A. in Music and M.F.A in Creative Writing. She’s had an eclectic array of jobs including receptionist, legal secretary, literary assistant, high school English teacher, and freelance editor.

London lives in a Washington, DC suburb with her husband and three greyhounds. She’s happiest when she’s writing novels, reading books, or binge watching her favorite programs like The Vampire Diaries or Being Human.

www.londonclarke.com
https://www.facebook.com/LondonClarkeAuthor/https://twitter.com/londonclarke2
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17868681.London_Clarke
https://www.pinterest.com/londonclarkeauthor/

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