Friday, April 6, 2018

📘🎥Friday's Film Adaptation🎥📘: The Little Sister by Raymond Chandler

Chandler's 5th novel has Philip Marlowe going to Hollywood as he explores the underworld of glitter capital, trying to find a sweet young thing's missing brother.

A movie starlet with a gangster boyfriend and a pair of siblings with a shared secret lure Marlowe into the less than glamorous and more than a little dangerous world of Hollywood fame. Chandler's first foray into the industry that dominates the company town that is Los Angeles.

The pebbled glass door panel is lettered in flaked black paint: "Philip Marlowe . . . Investigations." It is a reasonably shabby door at the end of a reasonably shabby corridor in the sort of building that was new about the year the all-tile bathroom became the basis of civilization. The door is locked, but next to it is another door with the same legend which is not locked. Come on in--there's nobody in here but me and a big bluebottle fly. But not if you're from Manhattan, Kansas.

* * * * *

It was one of those clear, bright summer mornings we get in the early spring in California before the high fog sets in. The rains are over. The hills are still green and in the valley across the Hollywood hills you can see snow on the high mountains. The fur stores are advertising their annual sales. The call houses that specialize in sixteen-year-old virgins are doing a land-office business. And in Beverly Hills the jacaranda trees are beginning to bloom.

I had been stalking the bluebottle fly for five minutes, waiting for him to sit down. He didn't want to sit down. He just wanted to do wing-overs and sing the prologue to Pagliacci. I had the fly swatter poised in midair and I was all set. There was a patch of bright sunlight on the corner of the desk and I knew that sooner or later that was where he was going to light. But when he did, I didn't even see him at first. The buzzing stopped and there he was. And then the phone rang.

I reached for it inch by inch with a slow and patient left hand. I lifted the phone slowly and spoke into it softly: "Hold the line a moment, please."

I laid the phone down gently on the brown blotter. He was still there, shining and blue-green and full of sin. I took a deep breath and swung. What was left of him sailed halfway across the room and dropped to the carpet. I went over and picked him up by his good wing and dropped him into the wastebasket.

"Thanks for waiting," I said into the phone.

"Is this Mr. Marlowe, the detective?" It was a small, rather hurried, little-girlish voice. I said it was Mr. Marlowe, the detective. "How much do you charge for your services, Mr. Marlowe?"

"What was it you wanted done?"

The voice sharpened a little. "I can't very well tell you that over the phone. It's--it's very confidential. Before I'd waste time coming to your office I'd have to have some idea--"

"Forty bucks a day and expenses. Unless it's the kind of job that can be done for a flat fee."

"That's far too much," the little voice said. "Why, it might cost hundreds of dollars and I only get a small salary and--"

"Where are you now?"

"Why, I'm in a drugstore. It's right next to the building where your office is."

"You could have saved a nickel. The elevator's free."

"I--I beg your pardon?"

I said it all over again. "Come on up and let's have a look at you," I added. "If you're in my kind of trouble, I can give you a pretty good idea--"

"I have to know something about you," the small voice said very firmly. "This is a very delicate matter, very personal. I couldn't talk to just anybody."

"If it's that delicate," I said, "maybe you need a lady detective."

"Goodness, I didn't know there were any." Pause. "But I don't think a lady detective would do at all. You see, Orrin was living in a very tough neighborhood, Mr. Marlowe. At least I thought it was tough. The manager of the rooming house is a most unpleasant person. He smelled of liquor. Do you drink, Mr. Marlowe?"

"Well, now that you mention it--"

"I don't think I'd care to employ a detective that uses liquor in any form. I don't even approve of tobacco."

"Would it be all right if I peeled an orange?"

I caught the sharp intake of breath at the far end of the line. "You might at least talk like a gentleman," she said.

"Better try the University Club," I told her. "I heard they had a couple left over there, but I'm not sure they'll let you handle them." I hung up.

It was a step in the right direction, but it didn't go far enough. I ought to have locked the door and hid under the desk.

Five minutes later the buzzer sounded on the outer door of the half-office I use for a reception room. I heard the door close again. Then I didn't hear anything more. The door between me and there was half open. I listened and decided somebody had just looked in at the wrong office and left without entering. Then there was a small knocking on wood. Then the kind of cough you use for the same purpose. I got my feet off the desk, stood up and looked out. There she was. She didn't have to open her mouth for me to know who she was. And nobody ever looked less like Lady Macbeth. She was a small, neat, rather prissy-looking girl with primly smooth brown hair and rimless glasses. She was wearing a brown tailor-made and from a strap over her shoulder hung one of those awkward-looking square bags that make you think of a Sister of Mercy taking first aid to the wounded. On the smooth brown hair was a hat that had been taken from its mother too young. She had no make-up, no lipstick and no jewelry. The rimless glasses gave her that librarian's look.

"That's no way to talk to people over the telephone," she said sharply. "You ought to be ashamed of yourself."

"I'm just too proud to show it," I said. "Come on in." I held the door for her. Then I held the chair for her.

She sat down on about two inches of the edge. "If I talked like that to one of Dr. Zugsmith's patients," she said, "I'd lose my position. He's most particular how I speak to the patients--even the difficult ones."

"How is the old boy? I haven't seen him since that time I fell off the garage roof."

She looked surprised and quite serious. "Why surely you can't know Dr. Zugsmith." The tip of a rather anemic tongue came out between her lips and searched furtively for nothing.

"I know a Dr. George Zugsmith," I said, "in Santa Rosa."

"Oh no. This is Dr. Alfred Zugsmith, in Manhattan. Manhattan, Kansas, you know, not Manhattan, New York."

"Must be a different Dr. Zugsmith," I said. "And your name?"

"I'm not sure I'd care to tell you."

"Just window shopping, huh?"

"I suppose you could call it that. If I have to tell my family affairs to a total stranger, I at least have the right to decide whether he's the kind of person I could trust."

"Anybody ever tell you you're a cute little trick?"

The eyes behind the rimless cheaters flashed. "I should hope not."

I reached for a pipe and started to fill it. "Hope isn't exactly the word," I said. "Get rid of that hat and get yourself a pair of those slinky glasses with colored rims. You know, the ones that are all cockeyed and oriental--"

"Dr. Zugsmith wouldn't permit anything like that," she said quickly. Then, "Do you really think so?" she asked and blushed ever so slightly.

I put a match to the pipe and puffed smoke across the desk. She winced back.

"If you hire me," I said, "I'm the guy you hire. Me. Just as I am. If you think you're going to find any lay readers in this business, you're crazy. I hung up on you, but you came up here all the same. So you need help. What's your name and trouble?"

She just stared at me.

"Look" I said. "You come from Manhattan, Kansas. The last time I memorized the World Almanac that was a little town not far from Topeka. Population around twelve thousand. You work for Dr. Alfred Zugsmith and you're looking for somebody named Orrin. Manhattan is a small town. It has to be. Only half a dozen places in Kansas are anything else. I already have enough information about you to find out your whole family history."

"But why should you want to. I'm fed up with people telling me histories. I'm just sitting here because I don't have any place to go. I don't want to work. I don't want anything."

"You talk too much."

"Yes," I said, "I talk too much. Lonely men always talk too much. Either that or they don't talk at all. Shall we get down to business? You don't look like the type that goes to see private detectives, and especially private detectives you don't know."

"I know that," she said quietly. "And Orrin would be absolutely livid. Mother would be furious too. I just picked your name out of the phone book--"

"What principle?" I asked. "And with the eyes closed or open?"

She stared at me for a moment as if I were some kind of freak. "Seven and thirteen," she said quietly.


"Marlowe has seven letters," she said, "and Philip Marlowe has thirteen. Seven together with thirteen--"

"What's your name?" I almost snarled.

"Orfamay Quest." She crinkled her eyes as if she could cry. She spelled the first name out for me, all one word. "I live with my mother," she went on, her voice getting rapid now as if my time is costing her. "My father died four years ago. He was a doctor. My brother Orrin was going to be a surgeon, too, but he changed into engineering after two years of medical. Then a year ago Orrin came out to work for the Cal-Western Aircraft Company in Bay City. He didn't have to. He had a good job in Wichita. I guess he just sort of wanted to come out here to California. Most everybody does."

"Almost everybody," I said. "If you're going to wear those rimless glasses, you might at least try to live up to them."

She giggled and drew a line along the desk with her fingertip, looking down. "Did you mean those slanting kind of glasses that make you look kind of oriental?"

"Uh-huh. Now about Orrin. We've got him to California, and we've got him to Bay City. What do we do with him?"

She thought a moment and frowned. Then she studied my face as if making up her mind. Then her words came with a burst: "It wasn't like Orrin not to write to us regularly. He only wrote twice to mother and three times to me in the last six months. And the last letter was several months ago. Mother and I got worried. So it was my vacation and I came out to see him. He'd never been away from Kansas before." She stopped. "Aren't you going to take any notes?" she asked.

I grunted.

"I thought detectives always wrote things down in little notebooks."

"I'll make the gags," I said. "You tell the story. You came out on your vacation. Then what?"

"I'd written to Orrin that I was coming but I didn't get any answer. Then I sent a wire to him about Salt Lake City but he didn't answer that either. So all I could do was go down where he lived. It's an awful long way. I went in a bus. It's in Bay City. No. 449 Idaho Street."

She stopped again, then repeated the address, and I still didn't write it down. I just sat there looking at her glasses and her smooth brown hair and the silly little hat and the fingernails with no color and her mouth with no lipstick and the tip of the little tongue that came and went between the pale lips.

"Maybe you don't know Bay City, Mr. Marlowe."

"Ha," I said. "All I know about Bay City is that every time I go there I have to buy a new head. You want me to finish your story for you?"

"Wha-a-at?" Her eyes opened so wide that the glasses made them look like something you see in the deep-sea fish tanks.

"He's moved," I said. "And you don't know where he's moved to. And you're afraid he's living a life of sin in a penthouse on top of the Regency Towers with something in a long mink coat and an interesting perfume."

"Well for goodness' sakes!"

"Or am I being coarse?" I asked.

"Please, Mr. Marlowe," she said at last, "I don't think anything of the sort about Orrin. And if Orrin heard you say that you'd be sorry. He can be awfully mean. But I know something has happened. It was just a cheap rooming house, and I didn't like the manager at all. A horrid kind of man. He said Orrin had moved away a couple of weeks before and he didn't know where to and he didn't care, and all he wanted was a good slug of gin. I don't know why Orrin would even live in a place like that."

"Did you say slug of gin?" I asked.

She blushed. "That's what the manager said. I'm just telling you."

"All right," I said. "Go on."

"Well, I called the place where he worked. The Cal-Western Company, you know. And they said he'd been laid off like a lot of others and that was all they knew. So then I went to the post office and asked if Orrin had put in a change of address to anywhere. And they said they couldn't give me any information. It was against the regulations. So I told them how it was and the man said, well if I was his sister he'd go look. So he went and looked and came back and said no. Orrin hadn't put in any change of address. So then I began to get a little frightened. He might have had an accident or something."

"Did it occur to you to ask the police about that?"

"I wouldn't dare ask the police. Orrin would never forgive me. He's difficult enough at the best of times. Our family--" She hesitated and there was something behind her eyes she tried not to have there. So she went on breathlessly: "Our family's not the kind of family--"

"Look," I said wearily, "I'm not talking about the guy lifting a wallet. I'm talking about him getting knocked down by a car and losing his memory or being too badly hurt to talk."

She gave me a level look which was not too admiring. "If it was anything like that, we'd know," she said. "Everybody has things in their pockets to tell who they are."

Detective Philip Marlowe probes the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles in search of a woman's missing sister.

Release Date: October 22, 1969
Release Time: 96 minutes

James Garner as Philip Marlowe
Gayle Hunnicutt as Mavis Wald
Carroll O'Connor as Lt. Christy French
Rita Moreno as Dolores Gonzáles
Sharon Farrell as Orfamay Quest
William Daniels as Mr. Crowell
H.M. Wynant as Sonny Steelgrave
Jackie Coogan as Grant W. Hicks
Kenneth Tobey as Sgt. Fred Beifus
Bruce Lee as Winslow Wong
Christopher Cary as Chuck
George Tyne as Oliver Hady
Corinne Camacho as Julie
Paul Stevens as Dr. Vincent Lagardie
Roger Newman as Orrin Quest
Anna Lee Carroll as Mona
Read Morgan as Gumpshaw



Author Bio:
Raymond Thornton Chandler was an American novelist and screenwriter.

In 1932, at age forty-four, Raymond Chandler decided to become a detective fiction writer after losing his job as an oil company executive during the Depression. His first short story, "Blackmailers Don't Shoot", was published in 1933 in Black Mask, a popular pulp magazine. His first novel, The Big Sleep, was published in 1939. In addition to his short stories, Chandler published just seven full novels during his lifetime (though an eighth in progress at his death was completed by Robert B. Parker). All but Playback have been realized into motion pictures, some several times. In the year before he died, he was elected president of the Mystery Writers of America. He died on March 26, 1959, in La Jolla, California.

Chandler had an immense stylistic influence on American popular literature, and is considered by many to be a founder, along with Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain and other Black Mask writers, of the hard-boiled school of detective fiction. Chandler's Philip Marlowe, along with Hammett's Sam Spade, are considered by some to be synonymous with "private detective," both having been played on screen by Humphrey Bogart, whom many considered to be the quintessential Marlowe.

Some of Chandler's novels are considered to be important literary works, and three are often considered to be masterpieces: Farewell, My Lovely (1940), The Little Sister (1949), and The Long Goodbye (1953). The Long Goodbye is praised within an anthology of American crime stories as "arguably the first book since Hammett's The Glass Key, published more than twenty years earlier, to qualify as a serious and significant mainstream novel that just happened to possess elements of mystery".



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Blog Tour: Nobody's Prince Charming by Aimee Nicole Walker

Title: Nobody's Prince Charming
Author: Aimee Nicole Walker
Series: Road to Blissville #3
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: March 23, 2018
Photographer: Wander Aguiar
Cover Design: Jay Aheer at Simply Defined Art
Fire and ice. Oil and water. Vodka and decisions. That’s what Darren McCoy and Wren Davison are: two opposites that shouldn’t mix well. Dare believes in fairy tales, true love, and happily ever after. Wren believes in fast cars, freedom, and no-strings sex. What can these two men possibly have in common? A magnetic pull strong enough to obliterate logic and reason.

For more than a year, Dare and Wren have worked together at the Curl Up and Dye Salon. Dare has pursued the mysterious, brooding man, and Wren has resisted his provocative charm. Then one day, something happens that allows the men to see each other in a new light. Wren learns that Dare hides a heavy heart behind his brilliant smile. Dare realizes that beneath Wren’s gruff exterior beats the heart of a prince.

Passions ignite once the men stop fighting their attraction, but will it be enough to overcome their differences? Is Wren the prince that Dare is looking for? Can Dare teach Wren that true love does exist?

Nobody’s Prince charming is a modern-day fairy tale where some princes ride Harleys, and castle walls are built to scale. It is the third book in the Road to Blissville series but can be read as a standalone book. This book contains sexually explicit material and is intended for adults eighteen and over.

We didn’t say anything on our way up to Dare’s room because neither of us wanted to risk waking Ralph. We were lucky that we didn’t get caught when we pulled that stunt in the laundry room. Okay, the stunt that I pulled. I knew that Ralph liked me, and I even suspected he knew that his grandson had become very important to me, but that didn’t give me the right to be disrespectful in his home. It wasn’t because we were gay either. I would’ve felt the same if we were a straight couple sneaking up to… Couple? I rolled the word around in my head a few times, expecting a negative thought to refute its validity but none came. I discovered I liked the way the word felt, sounded, and even tasted on my tongue. Just because I didn’t speak it out loud didn’t mean it was less true.

When we got to Dare’s room, we silently undressed each other in between soft kisses in the muted light from the lamp on the bedside table. The mood between us was different like we both had realized something important that day: what we shared was poignant and real. There was a confidence in Dare’s hands when he touched me and in his eyes when he looked at me. Did he see and feel the same changes in me?

Even my arousal was different. Rather than the all-consuming fire, it was a slow-burning flame that never seemed to diminish or burn out. It vibrated through me like normal, but new emotions joined the passion: tenderness and a desire for something I didn’t deserve and shouldn’t want. I’d been stingy with my heart for my entire life, giving it only to my mom who had died and a boy who was nearly rejected by his family for loving me. My mom didn’t choose to willingly leave me, but the boy did. I didn’t blame him, but it still hurt, especially when our breakup was only a few months after my mom’s death. I had no one in the world I could count on until I met Jimmy and Danny. I sure as hell couldn’t count on Falcon. Just thinking about him brought on a fresh wave of exhaustion, which killed my arousal.

Dare didn’t seem to mind. He pulled back the sheets and blankets then gestured for me to climb inside. He joined me after I got situated then turned off the light before he rolled over and lay his head on my chest. In the dark, it was easier to find the words that I couldn’t speak to anyone else. Hell, Jimmy and Danny didn’t even know that Falcon was my sperm donor, yet here I was about to tell Dare everything.

“Wren,” he said softly in the darkness. “You don’t have to tell me anything if you don’t want to, okay? If you do want to talk, I promise you that nothing you say will leave this room.”

“I know, Sparkles.” I trailed my hands up and down his back, finding comfort in the rhythm and already familiar feel of my fingers bumping along his spine. “You’d never betray my trust.” I knew it as certain as the sun would rise in the east. No matter what happened between us, Dare would keep my confidence. “Once upon a time,” I began to lighten the mood. I expected Dare to snort, but he giggled. “What?”

“That’s a phrase I use frequently in my head. I tend to work everyday events into fairy tales.”

“Yeah? Who am I?” I asked.

“Prince Charming, duh. Only with longer hair, biker boots, and a beefier body. My prince rides a Harley instead of a horse.”

“Sparkles, I’m nobody’s Prince Charming.”

“You don’t get to decide that,” he said in a singsong voice. “I decide who my Prince Charming is and no one else.”

I ignored the fluttering in my stomach and dug deep for a gruff response. “Fine, but don’t say that I didn’t warn you.”

“Once upon a time…” Dare prompted.

Who are some of your favorite authors and/or books to read when you need to relax? 
There are too many to list, so I’ll go with my comfort reads. These are the ones that feel like a warm blanket on a frigid day. Rhys Ford’s Cole McGinnis series, Mary Calmes A Matter of Time, John Wiltshire’s More Heat Than the Sun, and Charlie Cochet’s THIRDS.

If you were approached to have your book made into a film, who would you cast?
Jason Mamoa as Wren and Adam Rippon as Dare.

It’s often asked what is your favorite part of being a writer but what is the easiest or most natural part of the creative process for you?
The storytelling is what comes easiest to me since I’ve been creating stories in my head since I was a kid. When I sit down at the computer, I feel like I’m physically transported into the book. I lose track of the time, the day of the week, and sometimes the month. Writing feels as natural to me as breathing.

Is there any one character you've created that is most like you? If yes, who and why?
I intentionally put pieces of me in every character I write. It can be similar hobbies, music, or even hatred of mushrooms. Josh Roman is the character that’s more like me than any of the rest. It just feels like I ripped out a part of my soul and put it on the page.

If you could go anywhere (finances, time, & obligations not an issue) where would you go and why? 
Scotland and Ireland because that is where my ancestors came from. Those green hills call to me, and I would love to rent a home in either country for a month or two and write a book. Hmmm. That sounds like a fun plot. See, inspiration for me is everywhere. In two seconds flat, I have new characters vying for my attention in my head.

Author Bio:
I am a wife and mother to three kids, three dogs, and a cat. When I’m not dreaming up stories, I like to lose myself in a good book, cook or bake. I'm a girly tomboy who paints her fingernails while watching sports and yelling at the referees.

I will always choose the book over the movie. I believe in happily-ever-after. Love inspires everything that I do. Music keeps me sane.


Nobody's Prince Charming #3

Unscripted Love #1

Someone to Call My Own #2

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Release Blitz: Captain Merric by Rebecca Cohen

Title: Captain Merric
Author: Rebecca Cohen
Genre: M/M Romance, Pirates, Historical
Release Date: April 6, 2018
Cover Design: Garrett Leigh at Black Jazz Design
A tale of pirates, lost love, and the fight for a happy ending.

After he’s set adrift and left to die by his mutinous crew, the last person Royal Navy officer Daniel Horton expects to come to his rescue is Captain Merric. An infamous pirate, Merric is known as much for stealing his victims’ hearts as their jewels. Daniel’s world is about to be turned upside down when he recognises Captain Merric as none other than Edward Merriston, someone he thought he'd never see again.

Edward can’t believe Daniel Horton is aboard his ship. While Edward is willing to do anything he can to get a second chance at their happy ending, Daniel isn’t interested in digging up the past. But Daniel is one priceless treasure Captain Merric isn’t about to let go of without a fight.

Captain Merric first appeared as short story in a pirate-themed anthology. Now completely rewritten and extended he is ready to set sail again.

Author Bio:
Rebecca Cohen is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and young son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.


Drop a comment below to tell me why you love pirates and
be entered into the giveaway to win a copy of an ebook
from my backlist (excluding the Crofton Chronicles bundle).

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Release Blitz: Inked in Vegas by KM Neuhold

Title: Inked in Vegas
Author: KM Neuhold
Series: Heathens Ink #6
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: April 4, 2018
“We’re going to be married in a week. You’re going to be my husband, and we’re going to live happily ever after.” ~Madden

It feels like I’ve been waiting to marry Thane my entire life. And with our big day only a week away, our friends insist on a bachelor party in Vegas.

An outrageous scavenger hunt, an unexpected trip to the altar, and a wild night with an ex-boyfriend. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas...right?

Join the Heathens crew as they hit Sin City to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of Madden and Thane; you know these men never do anything half-assed.

***This is a multi-POV novella with lots of sexy times (including one MF and one MMF scene). Unlike the rest of the Heathens Ink series, this one CANNOT be read as a standalone.

“I’m looking at them right now, and they say, ‘Jane and Madden Forever’.”

“And that’s incorrect?” The woman on the other end of the phone asks in an infuriatingly calm voice.

“Yes, that is incorrect,” I snap. “I don’t know who the hell Jane is; I’m sure she’s a lovely woman, but I’m marrying a man named Th-ane. Say it with me sweetie...T.H.A.N.E.” I admit I might be bordering on hysterical, but it’s eight freaking days before my wedding, and the programs say Jane and Madden. Who the fuck is Jane?

“Okay sir, I understand. I’ll get the corrected programs shipped straight to you.”

“Thank you, but our wedding is in eight days. That’s one week from tomorrow. They’ll be here in time, won’t they?”

Before I can hear her reassurances, my phone is snagged out of my hand.

“Thank you very much; we appreciate it. You have a lovely day,” Thane says in a smooth voice before hanging up my phone and putting it in his own pocket. “You need to relax, sweetheart. I hate to say it, but you’ve turned into a bit of a groomzilla.”

“You don’t understand,” I say, trying not to slip into a full-on pout.

 I just want to make our wedding perfect, so I can show Thane how much I love him and how deeply I appreciate his patience with me when I was struggling so hard to cope. I acted like a complete dick early on in our relationship, and maybe if I can give him the most perfect wedding in the history of human civilization it will make up for it. He deserves a perfect wedding and so much more.

“What I understand is there’s no reason for this much stress. All I care about is getting to call you mine for the rest of our lives. I already told you, I’d be more than happy to tie the knot in Vegas this weekend during our bachelor party.”

I gasp in indignation, even though this isn’t news to me.

“After all this planning, you’d better believe we are having a damn wedding next weekend, come hell or high water.”

“Whatever makes you happy,” Thane says before pulling me in for a slow, sweet kiss.

Most days I can’t believe this incredible man wants to spend the rest of his life with me. I’ve faced down my fair share of demons in my life, and even more so in the last year and a half, and now that I’m safely on the other side of those nightmares, my life doesn’t feel real, in the best possible way.

“You make me happy,” I tell him between kisses.

“I bet I can make you even happier,” Thane teases, fingers finding their way to my button fly.

As if on cue, there’s a loud knock on the front door, and we both groan in frustration.

Author Bio:
I'm an author of m/m and new adult romance. I have a strong passion for writing characters with a lot of heart and soul, and a bit of humor as well.


Inked in Vegas #6


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