Writer's Grove

NY surprise visit

July 5, 2015

word booksHi NYC! I’m gonna be there this week! Me n’ the kid are going to check out some museums and take in a show. I don’t really have a new book release out so it’s kinda silly for me to try to arrange something formal, but on the other hand I rarely get to New York. Last time was three years ago, I think?

So let’s do a Ninja-Meet-n-Greet-and-dump-some-money-on-an-unsuspecting-indie-store. THIS IS A TOTALLY NORMAL THING TO DO.

Here’s where: Word Bookstore, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, Monday, July 6, at 7 pm. Lots of the stores in the big city have super-duper important events going on already and I don’t want to stomp on them. Besides, there are MANY reasons to like Word!

1.) They carry my books.
2.) They have stationery. I’m kind of a stationery geek so I’m going to score some while I’m there. I have pen pals to keep happy.
3.) They ship fabulously. I ordered a signed copy of The Eterna Files by Leanna Renee Hieber from them and it arrived in perfect condition. They obviously love books. I was super impressed.
4.) They like doggies. They have a Word Doggie Tumblr where they feature pictures of customers’ dogs. I like doggies too!
5.) They are in Brooklyn and I hear that’s where I can observe wild hipsters in their natural habitat.

It would be awesome of you to spread the word about Word on your personal network(s). We might get two whole people there (me and my daughter) or we might have enough to start our very own hootenanny. You never know. We’ll see what social media can do. Mostly, I wanna 1) try to see you if you wanna see me and 2) support a spiffy indie store. They might not have a ton of my books in stock because, again, this is a ninja deal—so bring what you want but also see if you can snag something from Word to make their Monday awesome & because they are turbo supportive of authors.

And if y’all can’t make it, no worries! I know this is super-short notice. That’s how these ninja things go. Just wanted to make myself available since I’ll be in town. LOVE AND TACOS, NY!

Covers and deals!

July 1, 2015

If you somehow missed it, the cover for STAKED, book 8 of the Iron Druid Chronicles, is out there and it’s turbo spiffy! As luck would have it, it’s also here so you don’t have to go far to check it out.

Staked comp 8

PURTY, right? It’s out January 26 and you can pre-order now from wherever you dig buying your books. (Please do. Besides just spreading the word about a book to your friends, pre-ordering is honestly the best thing you can do for an author you’d like to see write more stuff. Doesn’t matter what format, it’s all good. If you don’t have an indie bookstore near you, here are some handy-dandy linky-poos to the big ones: Amazon B&N iBooks)

I’ll have tour info later on. Phoenix and Denver are for-sure stops! Everything else is still under discussion.

Ready for a smokin’ hot deal? I BET YOU ARE. Since Shattered is out now in paperback you can get a hardcover for dirt cheap. A sexy signed one! Fifty percent off when you order from Oberon’s Treat Shop and use the coupon code FIFTY at checkout. And the first forty people to buy a hardcover from Oberon will also get a promo code for a free audiobook download of Two Tales of the Iron Druid Chronicles. BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE! I still have a few of these Oberon posters left. Lookit:

Oberon painting sm_text-2


I’d like to get rid of them. So for people who order hardcovers of Shattered I’ll throw in a signed poster too until I run out! Let me stress that I only have twenty or so—it’s a first-come first-served thing.

Let’s see, what else? OH YEAH. I will be places later this year! Salt Lake Comic Con in September and MileHiCon in Denver in October! If you’re going to be at either one (or might decide to go soon) I hope to see you there!

A few peeps have asked about the Iron Druid ringtones recorded by Luke Daniels. Those are still coming—I just haven’t had time to get to them. Stay tuned for that!

What I’m writing now: A Plague of Giants, the first volume of my epic fantasy trilogy. I’m already more than half finished and I’m excited about getting to the end!

Thank you all for reading. Love & tacos for everyone!


I’m in Australia!

June 16, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 12.27.14 PMI’m going to Supanova Expo in Sydney June 19-21 and in Perth June 26-28! So excited to meet all you Aussies & Kiwis!

I’ll be spending the majority of my time at the Booktopia area, which I’m given to understand is easily located on the venue map thingie. I will have some panels too, of course—see the event programme and then see me there! (Can I just say I love the bonus letters in UK/Aus English? Programme is so much fancier than program and favourite is my favorite.)

Apologies that I won’t be visiting other cities. I’ll be all business those two weekends of Supanova, but in between I’ll be hanging out with my family, fraternizing with koalas and quokkas, running from giant spiders, that sort of thing. My mom’s wanted to go to Australia since she was wee and now she’s finally going. And it’s also downtime for me; I just finished writing Staked this morning—I’ve been writing one thing or another nonstop since New Year’s—and I need a break. Not even taking my laptop with me. Bringing lots of books to read, though!

I’m reading two ARCs right now: Lightless by CA Higgins and Trailer Park Fae by Lilith Saintcrow. I also have Of Blood and Honey by Stina Leicht and Corsair by James L. Cambias, and I’m sure I’ll pick up additional goodies while at Supanova!

(By the way: Staked will be out Jan. 26. If you haven’t read Three Slices yet, that contains an important novella set in between Shattered and Staked—snag it for your Atticus & Oberon fix!)


Elevengeddon and PHXCC

May 14, 2015


Home fries, I’m going to be amongst some of the biggest storytellin’ brains around pretty soon and it makes me ridiculously happy. But I want YOU to be happy too. You should join me. COME TO ELEVENGEDDON.

Elevengeddon started out as a joke name for an event with eleven SF/F authors, but then it kept growing—up to seventeen authors!—and we just kept the name since it got funnier as we went.

The Where and When: The Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, AZ, at 7 pm, on Wednesday, May 27.

The Who: omg omg omg this LIST

novikNaomi Novik! I’ve never met her before, so. The SQUEE. Her new book, Uprooted, is so damn good and I cannot wait to thank her for the story in person. Y’all should read it. You will love!
Richard Kadrey, author of the NYT bestselling Sandman Slim series! Also a turbo nice guy.
Jason M. Hough, author of The Darwin Elevator and the upcoming Zero World. His books are action-packed thrill rides with SCIENCE and ALIENS
Cherie Priest, who wrote a genius book called Maplecroft and will be debuting I Am Princess X at this event!
Chuck Wendig, Legendary Beard Brother and Coffee Guru and author of the Miriam Black series, among many others! Will he bring the #Facebees? WE SHALL SEE.
Delilah S. Dawson, author of Hit (and much more), utterly hilarious and super smart and I look forward to all her books forever.
Wes Chu, author of the very entertaining Tao series and the upcoming Time Salvager!
Stephen Blackmoore writes one of my absolute favorite series about a necromancer named Eric Carter. You owe it to yourself to start with Dead Things. So good!
Beth Cato, author of The Clockwork Dagger, which just got nominated for a Locus Award for Best First Novel! Her sequel, The Clockwork Crown, will be on sale for the first time at this event!
Brian McClellan, another Beard Brother, a lover of cake (well, not carnally), and the author of the epic Powder Mage trilogy!
emperorsbladespsdBrian Staveley! I haven’t met Brian or read his work (yet!) but judging by how excited some people are that he’s coming I should probably shave and wear pants and everything to give the best first impression I possibly can. I’m kind of nervous.
Andrea Phillips! She’ll have her shiny debut novel, Revision, on hand! It got a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly! Great stuff you should check out!
Sam Sykes, author of The City Stained Red, a tale rife with monsters and balls-out naked fight scenes, and owner of an adorable pug named Otis who sometimes shits on his floor—adorably, though. That’s really the only way to shit on Sam’s floor and get away with it.
Myke Cole, author of Gemini Cell and owner of the most famous shower in New York. Seriously: His shower has its own Twitter account. He could be the Most Interesting Man At This Gig and you should buy his books.
Django Wexler! He wrote The Thousand Names! His name is really fun to say! And he plays Warmachine and someday we will face off on the battlefield, his Cygnar troops against my fire priests, and he will most likely destroy me but it’ll be fun!
Michael J Martinez, author of The Daedalus Incident, beer aficionado, enchilada enthusiast, and spiffy dude!
And…me. I will be there. Incandescently happy to be in the company of such awesome writers and readers.

Please come see us if you can! Bring or buy books, have us sign ’em, take a selfie, have a great time!

If you can’t make it but would like a signed copy of any of the above authors’ books, give the Poisoned Pen a call ahead of time! They will get us to sign ’em for you and ship  wherever you are—they ship internationally! Their phone number is 480-947-2974.


Here’s where and when to find me at Phoenix Comicon, May 28-31:

I hope to see you there! Love & tacos & beer—


May 13, 2015

Churros are completely fabulous and that is why so many of them are mowed down in their youth, eaten by ravenous predators at taquerias and churro stands worldwide. But a few churros do make it to adulthood, thank goodness, and mature churros—MACHURROS—are every bit as delicious. Maybe even more so. You be the judge.

I first encountered machurros at a party. People took a bite and their eyes rolled up in their heads and their toes curled. There may have been some bucking hips but I won’t confirm or deny that was me.  They were brought by Keelie, and she says she got the recipe from Amy Pinson, and where Amy got it is A Mystery. But there: I have given credit where it is due, and now I’m gonna break this down for you because I love you and want you to be happy.

Stuff you need:
2 cans Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
2 8-oz packages of cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter (I used unsalted)
1/4 cup sugar combined with 1 tbsp cinnamon
Obviously, looking at the ingredients, there is a small chance that eating a machurro will detonate your pancreas. But it will be such a delicious explosion.

Preheat thy oven to 350 degrees. Grab a 9×13 pan and grease that sucker with your cooking spray. Coconut oil spray worked great for me. Roll out 1 can of Crescent Rolls in the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan.  (They unroll like a poster of dough but with some stitched perforations in there like Frankenstein’s monster. Pinch those wee seams together.) Should look a bit like this:

GROOVY. Now, in a mixer or with your own caffeine-fueled, tool-bearing hand, beat together the cream cheese and 1 cup of sugar until smooth. Spread this mixture over the doughy crescent rolls in pan. You can aspire to making it all even but let’s face it there will be some uneven bits. That’s okay. On top of that, roll out the other can of crescent rolls, pinching the seams together once more.  Make sure it is stretched as close to the edges as possible, so no cream cheese is showing. A progress photo:
All right, now you melt that 1/2 cup (one stick) of butter and pour it over the crescent rolls. If you did it right nothing leaks into the cream cheese below.

You now have a pond of melted butter. Sprinkle your cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over the butter and crescent rolls. It’s gonna start looking really good.

Bake thou thy machurros at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Let cool for 20 minutes.  You can cut ’em up and serve while they’re still hot, OR you can refrigerate and take to your next party, where you will be immensely popular. Because they’re every bit as nom when they’re cold. They look like this coming out of the oven:
And once you cut ’em into squares and make a machurro ziggurat, they become irresistible:
machurro4Enjoy, my spiffy peeps!

Love Letter to Poland

April 27, 2015

Hi, Poland.

I’m not as well traveled as some. This is my first trip to Europe, after all. But I must say that meeting you was love at first sight. Thank you for being so delightful.

I have a Polish sister-in-law and I also have some friends back in Arizona, Kasia and Leszek, who emigrated from Warsaw about 15 years ago. They introduced me to Żubrowka (a Polish vodka that makes a stunning drink when mixed with apple juice) and gave me my first clue that I would really, really like Poland and its people. And it turned out to be true.

I’m writing this on the train to Berlin and I’m already missing you. Every person I met in Warsaw and Poznań was universally adorable. I’m very grateful to my publisher, Rebis, for bringing me out to visit, and to my readers for coming to see me at Pyrkon!

The first person I must thank is Adrian Tomczyk. Adrian was my translator and guide and language teacher. He’s brilliant and classy and seemed to be amused by the crazy American guy who got super excited about fresh pear cider on draught.


Near the end of my stay I was able to start reading some basic Polish—just the really important stuff, like BEER PUDDING. I saw this sign, pointed it out to Adrian, and said, “BEER PUDDING! WE MUST HAVE SOME! IT WILL GIVE US +5 VITALITY!”


It was glorious and worthy of a quest. Plum-flavored pudding cooked in dark beer and garnished with pomegranate seeds. I think I wound up getting +6 vitality from it. And let me go ahead and say that all the food was spectacular, from the pierogies to the sausage-n-tater soup in a bread bowl to the very, very tasty pilsners.

Greg Zielinski was my translator in Warsaw and was also super helpful; he took me to Pole Mokotowskie so that I could take some pictures. Part of Granuaile’s story in STAKED will involve the Polish coven and some additional members of the Slavic pantheon that we have not seen thus far, so I took the opportunity to do some location scouting, and when I return to Warsaw on May 7 it will be my mission to scout out where the Polish coven lives (somewhere in the Wawer district, across the Wisła River).

When I got to Pyrkon in Poznań I was surprised by a group of readers who had some astonishingly thoughtful gifts for me. It was very touching. Eternal thanks to Kasia, Anna, Dominika, Magdalena, Bartosz, Martyna, Marysia, Ewelina, Ala, Agnieszka (both of you), Pawel, Krzcyz and Marta! (I hope I didn’t forget anyone!) All of you were wonderful and made me feel welcome. I took pictures with everybody but here is one with Ewelina who is, despite her protests, quite skilled at taking goofy selfies. I think she could go pro.


Thanks also to everyone who could not attend Pyrkon but sent cards or gifts along through Kasia! You are awesome!

Also awesome: The people who came to see me for my autograph session at Pyrkon! Thank you all so much for reading and for taking the trouble to come say hello to me! I’m so glad you’re enjoying Kroniki Żelaznego Druida!

Oh—and Tomasz in Warsaw was a super spiffy guy. He came by to visit me, gave me some Polish mead, and took me to Paradox Café, where they play board games or RPGs and drink beer. So, you know: Almost all the good things in life. Pretty cool to walk into a place and see a Game of Thrones banner hanging over the bar.

IMG_3732 The short version: I love Poland. Thank you again. For lots more pictures, see the albums I posted on my Facebook author page.

If you’re in Berlin or near enough to make no difference: I’ll be at Otherland Buchhandlung on Tuesday at 8 pm and hope to see you there! I’ll be in Prague on May 5 and Brno on May 6! Cheers!





I’m in Europe!

April 20, 2015

If you are (or know someone who is) in Poland, Germany, or the Czech Republic, then I hope I’ll get to see you (or them) while I’m there! Please spread the word, won’t you?

Very excited about this trip & grateful to my Polish publisher, Rebis, for getting me over the Atlantic, as well as my German publisher, Klett, and my Czech publisher, Laser, for letting me swing by while I’m in the area.

The big shindig is Pyrkon in Poznań, Poland, and while I think they have me doing something on Friday I’m not sure what it is except happiness. I’m basically going wherever they tell me to go. But! On Saturday, April 25:

10:30 am: They’re gonna put me in a big room with a translator to meet readers and take questions, and I am just going to geek out on Slavic myth and how much fun I’ve been having writing the Polish coven recently in STAKED. Plus tell ’em how much I’ve enjoyed discovering the poetry of Wisława Szymborska.
12:00 pm: Modern Youth Literature panel! I happen to admire all of these things: Modernity, Youth, Literature. So this sounds excellent!
13:30 pm: I’ll be doing an autograph session at the Rebis booth at Pyrkon and asking people to spell their spiffy names for me. I love accent marks and stuff so this is going to be fun.

April 28: Appearance at Otherland Bookshop at 8 pm in Berlin, Germany! I’ll have a translator there as well. Address: Bergmannstrasse 25, D- 10961

May 5: Prague, Czech Republic
I’ll be at the Municipal Library at 4 pm! Cannot wait to see you, Prague!

May 6: Brno, Czech Republic
I’ll be at the Municipal Library there too at the same time, 4 pm!

That gap in between Berlin and Prague? I’ll be in Rome, researching goodies for STAKED, and most likely writing like mad in a café somewhere. Because I’m about halfway through the book now and once I put the European pieces together we’ll be crankin’ up the speed.

While I’m in Prague, THREE SLICES will be released worldwide on ebook and audio! Hope you guys enjoy —it’ll get you all set for STAKED!

Three Slices



Three Slices

April 13, 2015

Oh, do I have a treat for you guys. I’ve been cooking something up with Super Mega Spiffy Authors Delilah S. Dawson and Chuck Wendig. It’s a tight anthology of novellas called Three Slices and it’ll be on sale in ebook and audio on May 5 (pre-order links below). It features a cover and interior illustrations by Hugo-award winning artist Galen Dara. Wanna see?

Three Slices

Ye gods, Galen is good. I love this illustration. I mean, Atticus is PRETTY. And lookit, that’s Oberon on the cover for the first time! The other distinguished person there is Mekera, who you’ll meet in my novella, A Prelude to War. The story picks up right after the end of Shattered: Atticus wants to strike back at Werner Drasche for what he did and he goes to ask his old friend, Mekera, for some help, but discovers she’s being watched. Meanwhile, Granuaile is ready for round 2 with Loki and cares nothing about the consequences that picking such a fight might bring. It’s absolutely vital to the series and it’ll whet your appetite for book 8, Staked, which I’m working on now. Consider this IDC 7.5!

And yes, the audio version of A Prelude to War will be narrated by Luke Daniels, never fear, and it’ll be out the same day as the ebook (Pre-order link below)!

But you’re getting a lot more than just an Iron Druid novella here. You’re getting two more awesome stories by authors who make me squee, and with whom I dearly wished to collaborate.

Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys by Delilah S. Dawson will introduce you to her Blud world (or return you to it if you’re already a fan) and basically convince you that you should read all the things she writes. And holy horses, Batman, the illustration for her story is so damn awesome I nearly shat kine when I saw it:

three slices_DAWSON not my circus interior WIP4
Illustration for Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys, © 2015 by Galen Dara

Last but certainly not least, we have a Miriam Black story by Chuck Wendig called Interlude: Swallow. Like mine, it’s a nice piece to chew on in between his full novels, and this one is set in between The Cormorant (book 3) and Thunderbird (book 4). Miriam Black is so hardcore—if you haven’t begun that series, it kicks off with Blackbirds and I highly recommend it!

There are two additional illustrations in Three Slices—one of Granuaile vs. Loki and another of Miriam Black—that you’ll get to purr over and say, ooooh, how gorgeous!

And honestly that’s the main reason we’re putting this together the way we are. Chuck, Delilah, and I are huge fans of Galen Dara as well as fans of each other, but the likelihood that we’d all get to work together via traditional means was pretty slim. Especially considering that these stories, while set in very different worlds, are tied together by a secret, semi-batshit theme. It’s not a theme we could sell to a major house, but it’s a mountain we all wanted to climb and we did it. We hope you’ll be as entertained reading them as we were writing them.

Three Slices is available for preorder now in ebook and audio.* If you have a smartphone or tablet rather than an e-reader, you’ll get the glorious full-color illustrations. They’ll still be glorious on an e-reader, mind, just black and white. Links below:

Pre-order the Ebook: Kindle or  iTunes/iBooks
I’d give you a link to the Nook pre-order but they don’t offer pre-orders for some inexplicable reason. It should be available on May 5 though, so if you’re a Nook reader please check for it and keep checking until it’s live!

Pre-order the audiobook: Audible

And if you’d like to buy a print of Galen’s art, she sells ’em—not just these but many more! (She did the cover of “The Chapel Perilous” for me and also an Oberon illustration featuring a quote from Shattered.) Support Galen and prettify your life here.

Happy reading (or listening)!

*It’s not in print and if that’s your preferred method of reading, I’m very sorry. The fact is publishers very rarely print novellas (I can think of only one in recent memory) and when they do they don’t print them with full-color illustrations. Ebook and audio are basically the only viable platforms for stories of this length (too long for a short story and not long enough for a novel), and in truth it’s a blessing. Before ebook and digital audio, these stories would simply never have been written because writers could never get taco money for writing a novella. Publishers paid for short stories or novels and almost nothing in between (and still do). So while the lack of print is kind of a bummer on the one hand, the opportunity to tell these stories at all is turbo spiffy for writers. Thank you, as always, for giving our stories a try!

My underrated list

April 6, 2015

Somehow I landed myself on a Buzzfeed list today, which would normally be a WOOHOO I HAVE ACHIEVED A POP CULTURE BROWNIE type thing, but it kind of wasn’t. I’m always turbo grateful for publicity and stuff, but this one was a bit of a head scratcher because of its title and its contents and yeah, basically everything.  It’s called 29 Underrated Book Series Every YA Lover Should Read. There are some really great series listed there and I don’t want to throw shade on any of them. But I’m perplexed about the use of the word “underrated” here since many of the listed series are NYT bestsellers and in several cases have had movies made about ’em. I mean, the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini? Great stuff. And a great guy! But it’s sold 15 million copies according to an article in Rolling Stone a year or two ago, plus a movie and such, so that’s not really underrated. That’s holy-shit-I’m-gonna-buy-me-some-damn-yachts money for books that clearly many people enjoy. And Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan? Yep, that’s millions of copies and a couple movies too. How’s that underrated when it’s so super-duper popular? Reading through that list of “underrated” series made me think of Inigo Montoya: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

In my particular case I was more perplexed by the YA title. I don’t consider myself a YA author. It’s true that younger readers have read and enjoyed my stuff, but I wouldn’t give HEXED to an 11-year old and tell ’em to enjoy the hot scratchy sex between Atticus and the Morrigan. Younger readers can obviously read whatever the heck they want, but I’m not shelved in YA and can tell you when I’m writing I’m not thinking, “Ha ha! Those younger readers sure are going to appreciate my use of ‘monstrous fuckpuddle’ here!”

So I thought I’d provide my own unsolicited list of underrated series, albeit mostly for adult readers and much smaller than 29—I’m only throwing out five, a manageable list. And when I say underrated I mean they haven’t hit the NYT list yet, but damn it, they should because their stories are fabulous and deserve to be read. I’ll provide the series name and the first book to get you started. These are series, mind, not single books, and in no particular order.


1. The Borden Dispatches by Cherie Priest. Start with MAPLECROFT. I’ve said it before and will say it again: This is genius-level work. Should be a movie. Cherie should be bathing in cash and wearing money to the gym.

2. Prospero’s War by Jaye Wells. Start with DIRTY MAGIC. What I wrote for the cover blurb remains true: Kate Prospero is my favorite heroine.

3. The Eric Carter books by Stephen Blackmoore. First one is called DEAD THINGS. Urban fantasy LA noir with a necromancer fond of using a straight razor. Fast reads, punch-in-the-gut stuff, and I would whisper sweet nothings in Stephen’s ear and nibble on it too if I could get the third book tomorrow. Or the next day.

4. The Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone. Begin with THREE PARTS DEAD. Max writes some beautifully complex shit. And when you talk with him you realize you haven’t been doing a hell of a lot with your brain. He’s wicked smart and almost illegally nice.

5. Anything by Diana Rowland. She has two different series going and they’re both great. I dig the White Trash Zombie books in particular. The main character, Angel, has to become a monster to become a better human, and it’s brilliant. Start with MY LIFE AS A WHITE TRASH ZOMBIE.

Obviously there are metric fucktons of other deserving but underrated series out there to read—this is by no means a comprehensive list, just five series off the top of my head that I think should be getting far more attention than they currently are. So give ’em a gander, try one or all of ’em, and see what you think.

Hey, regardless: Thank you for reading anybody’s work, period. I’m super grateful to everyone who’s given my work a chance.

Bad Poetry, Well Spoken

April 1, 2015

Some of you may have noticed by now that I am often amused by goofy shit. And so when someone offers me the opportunity to goof off I have trouble resisting. In fact, I do not resist at all. I volunteer to take it too damn far.

Super Duper Mega Spiffy Audiobook Narrator Xe Sands recently took a hiatus from Twitter and then returned feeling guilty about it.

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 5.11.42 PM

I replied:

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 5.13.59 PM

Because I am just helpful like that. Xe accepted, and so it began. I whipped up four very bad yet mercifully short poems for Xe to record as penance for her frightful Twitter absence. And she dutifully recorded them because she’s serious about making it up to us all. Silliness abounds.

So here is some Bad Poetry, Well Spoken—just click on ’em to take you to the free Soundcloud stream :

“Ode to Phlegm”
“The Hemingway Frog”
“All Abuzz”
“Friday Time”

And, if you’re an audiobook fan, you might enjoy some of Xe’s work! She has a listing of her books on her site. Happy listening!

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