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The Soul Searchers Mysteries Book 1 Audiobook Blog Tour

Audiobook Series Blog Tour: The Soul Searchers Mysteries by Caryn Larrinaga

Author: Caryn Larrinaga

Narrator: Jessica McEvoy

Length: 9 hours 54 minutes

Series: The Soul Searchers Mysteries, Book 1

Released: Aug. 1, 2017

Publisher: Twisted Tree Press

Genre: Supernatural Cozy Mystery

“Grief can change us… rewire our brains and shift the way we look at the world…” After returning home from her father’s funeral to find her boyfriend in bed with another woman, Mackenzie Clair is looking for a fresh start. She thinks she’ll find it in her favorite childhood vacation spot, but returning to Donn’s Hill awakens more than nostalgia. Mac regains a lost psychic ability to talk to the dead, and the poltergeist haunting her apartment is desperate to make her use that gift to find his killer. Aided by her new roommate – a spirited Tortoiseshell cat named Striker, and the ghost-hunting crew of the nationally televised show Soul Searchers, Mac struggles to learn how to use her powers. But she’d better get a handle on them fast, because someone in town is hiding a deadly secret. If Mac can’t somehow divine the truth, Donn’s Hill will never be the same.
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Caryn Larrinaga is a self-described horror evangelist and paranormal junkie. Her debut supernatural mystery novel, DONN’S HILL, won the League of Utah Writers 2017 Silver Quill Award in the adult novel category and was a 2017 Dragon Award finalist. Her short fiction has won multiple honors and been featured in local and international anthologies. Watching scary movies through split fingers terrified Caryn as a child, and those nightmares inspire her to write now. She lives near Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and their clowder of cats. Visit http://www.carynlarrinaga.com for free short stories and audiobooks.
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Narrator Bio Between peddling video games and teaching yoga in her home state of Arizona, Jessica McEvoy attempts to conduct a career as a professional voice actress. This, however, is moderately undermined by the fact that she records in a dimly lit closet with her microphone balanced on a stack of old board games (Junior Scrabble and Powerpuff Girls Monopoly form a strong foundation), but she hopes that no one holds that against her. Though her main work consists of narrating audiobooks, her first dive into the voice world was through the NoSleep podcast after answering a post from the LibriVox forums. Having been raised on horror movies and scary stories, she was beyond excited to be able to work on the show. Many stories, tortured screams, deranged villains, and creepy little girl giggles later, Jessica hopes to work on the podcast for seasons and seasons to come.
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  I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Caryn Larrinaga. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it. To Come
Q&A with Author Caryn Larrinaga
  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • I had so much fun working with Jessica as she adapted both of these novels into audiobooks! Luckily, I had already worked with her on a smaller project before, and I knew she would be the perfect Mackenzie from her reading of my novelette Hide and Seek and her amazing work on the NoSleep Podcast, so we skipped the audition part of the process. Once each of the novels were ready, I sent them to her to read and crossed my fingers she’d like them enough to want to perform them. (When looking for a great narrator like Jessica, there’s definitely a “She said YES!!” moment that involves much shrieking and jumping up and down.) We decided on a reasonable production schedule, then she started recording chapters and uploading them for me to approve. I love that I get to listen to it as she’s working, so we can make sure we’re both on the same page about personalities, accents, and cat-related awesomeness. Then we get to celebrate together once the book is finally live on Audible and iTunes, which is always super exciting!
    • My favorite unexpected bonus about this process is that it happens while I’m working on the next book in the series, so I’m listening to my characters “talk” to me through Jessica’s performance, and that actually has a huge impact on my writing. Listening to her narrate Donn’s Shadow definitely helped me overcome a bit of writer’s block with the third book, and I’m so grateful!
  • How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
    • Jessica made it really easy to work very closely with her. She requested a pronunciation guide, and since even my own name can be tricky for some people, I sent over an audio recording of me saying the different character names and any other oddball words. For the first book, I even sent her an audio clip of me making Striker’s trademark “Brrrllll,” since that was based on the real Striker’s habit of trilling at us instead of meowing. 🙂
    • Every once in a while, while listening to a chapter, I’d hear Jessica pronounce a word differently than I do (like “ylang ylang”). Before reaching out to ask her to change it, I’d look it up online… and pretty much every time, I’d learn that I’ve been saying something wrong for literally YEARS! So that’s another nice little bonus of working with a good narrator, haha.
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • Absolutely! Mackenzie’s first encounter with a ghost is based on a friend of mine, who mentioned (far too casually for something this spooky) that ghosts who are “just passing through” will sometimes sit for a spell at the edge of her bed. In the night. In the dark. It doesn’t bother my friend, but it bothered the heck out of me, so I had to go home and start writing a story about it.
    • Mac’s additional encounters with poltergeists and other paranormal entities were also based on a few real-life events, like an experience my mother had with some kitchen chairs that moved on their own (six of them, all at the same time).
    • I get freaked out pretty easily and I like to let myself lean into those fears and write them down, especially when they take me to weird or scary places in my mind. But in real life, I’m a huge scaredy cat. Let’s just say Mackenzie is much, much braver than I am!
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • Wow, is this something people say? Everyone starts out listening to stories before reading them. If there’s someone out there shaming audiobook listeners, the first thing I’d say is, “Stop it.” Because if they don’t like it, that’s fine, but there’s no wrong way to enjoy a good story. It’s like how everyone has their own learning style; we all have our own leisure style, too. Don’t be ashamed if you prefer one format over another. Whether you prefer to experience good stories via ebooks, paperbacks, books, movies, games, or whatever… just enjoy it! And then do all the content creators a favor and leave reviews. 🙂
  • Have any of your characters ever appeared in your dreams?
    • Striker visits me in my dreams all the time, which I’m sure is because I miss her. Not long after she passed away, we fostered and adopted some special-needs kitties, one of whom passed away after only a couple of years with us. The pair of them show up in my dreams together, always snuggling and cleaning each other.
    • None of my other named characters have really shown up in my dreams. But many of the monsters I write about definitely appeared in my nightmares before making it onto the page, like the monsters in the corners of the ceiling that I wrote into my story “Watchers’ Warning.”
  • How do you select the names of your characters?
    • I put a lot of thought into naming my characters, especially for Donn’s Hill and Donn’s Shadow. Mackenzie is named after my favorite character on a TV show called “The Newsroom,” and I thought that if I was the kind of person who wanted kids (I am not), I’d name a daughter after her. Instead, I named a character after her. 🙂 Her last name, Clair, comes from the fact that she’s a clairvoyant. Mackenzie’s handsome landlord, Graham Thomas, is named after one of my favorite fictional men and the man who created him: Thomas Harris’ Will Graham.
    • I’ll usually look up common names from the year a character was born, or names that represent their heritage. Then, to make sure I’m not reusing the same name over and over (my placeholder for characters who identify as female tends to be “Megan” and I have no idea why), I check them against a spreadsheet I keep of every character name I’ve used and where I used it. Yep, I’m one of those people who (rightly) thinks spreadsheets are fun.
  • Who is your favorite character to write?
    • In the Soul Searchers mysteries, I love writing the characters who antagonize Mac. For some reason, creating moments where they get under her skin is incredibly fun. I also love writing Kit, because our personalities are really similar but I do a better job acting polite than she does. I like living vicariously through Kit and just saying whatever I want, doing what I think is best, and fighting for the people I love regardless of the consequences.
  • What is your writing Kryptonite?
    • Books and video games. If I’m on a deadline, feeling stressed, or–let’s face it–just awake and at home, it’s soooo tempting to spend the entire afternoon living in someone else’s imaginary universe instead of working on my own. I have to work hard to keep myself on task some days, but I try to find a balance between working and relaxing.
  • Do you write listening to music?
    • Most of the time, yes. I like to listen to Delerium’s Poem album on repeat so it sort of fades into the background, filling up the part of my brain that wants music without distracting the part of my brain that needs to imagine things and think of the right words to describe them. If I need to set a specific mood or get into the mind of a particular character, I’ll switch it up. Emotional scenes with Graham get written to ‘90s alternative rock, for example. But when I need to write a scary scene, like Mac attempting to summon a spirit, I have to turn the music off.
  • What’s next for you?
    • Right now, I’m working on the third and final book in the Soul Searchers Mysteries. It’s bittersweet to be wrapping up Mac’s story, but I’m excited for her to get to solve her personal mysteries on top of yet another murder (poor girl – she’s such a body magnet!). Apart from that, I’m also working on a standalone horror novel that pulls from my Basque heritage. We have some deliciously terrifying folklore and it’s so much fun to explore the dark things that scared my ancestors. I also have three short stories coming out in a few different anthologies this year, and hopefully more to come! Definitely subscribe to my newsletter at www.carynlarrinaga.com — you’ll get a free ebook, plus you’ll stay in the loop about everything I have coming up!
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Kingdom Of Embers Audiobook Blog Tour

Audiobook Blog Tour: Kingdom of Embers by Tricia Copeland
They used to be each other’s imaginary friend. Now these supernatural high-school kids are playing for keeps in the real world…

Author: Tricia Copeland

Narrator: Amy Deuchler

Length: 8 hours 18 minutes

Series: Kingdom Journals, Book 1

Publisher: True Bird Publishing LLC

Released: February 1, 2017

Genre: Fantasy; YA

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Lake Lanier Mysteries Book 3 Audiobook Blog Tour

Audiobook Blog Tour: Lake Lanier Mysteries by Casi McLean

Author: Casi McLean

Narrator: Kristin James

Series: Lake Lanier Mysteries, Book 3

Length: 8 hours 28 minutes

Publisher: Casi McLean, Inc.

Released: Oct. 5, 2018

Genre: Time Travel Romance

She never expected to confront deadly villains…let alone fall in love with one…. After her friend York encounters the ghostly image of a young woman, Mackenzie Reynolds seizes the opportunity to initiate a time jump, thrusting them back to 1865 Georgia. Resolved to thwart the girl’s untimely fate, Kenzi stumbles into a deadly conflict over a stockpile of stolen Confederate gold. An injured Civil War survivor, James Adams, departs for home with a war-fatigued companion he’s determined to help. After pilfering a horse and kidnapping a woman, he never dreamed his hostage would steal his heart. Kenzi and James must unravel a deadly plot while helping York save his ghost woman from a brutal death. But can she leave York in a violent past to save James’ life? A gripping novel by award-winning author Casi McLean.
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Award winning author, Casi McLean, pens novels to stir the soul with romance, suspense, and a sprinkle of magic. Her writing crosses genres from ethereal, captivating shorts with eerie twist endings to believable time slips, mystical plots, and sensual romantic suspense, like Beneath The Lake, WINNER: 2016 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence for BEST Romantic Suspense. Casi’s powerful memoir, Wingless Butterfly: Healing The Broken Child Within, shares an inspirational message of courage, tenacity, and hope, and displays her unique ability to excel in nonfiction and self-help as well as fiction. Known for enchanting stories with magical description, McLean entices readers in nonfiction as well with fascinating hooks to hold them captive in storylines they can’t put down. Her romance entwines strong, believable heroines with delicious hot heroes to tempt the deepest desires then fans the flames, sweeping readers into their innermost romantic fantasies. Ms. McLean weaves exceptional romantic mystery with suspenseful settings and lovable characters you’ll devour. You’ll see, hear, and feel the magical eeriness of one fateful night. You’ll swear her time travel could happen, be mystified by her other worldly images, and feel heat of romantic suspense, but most of all you’ll want more.
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Narrator Bio
Kristin “KJ” James was born and raised in the Nashville, TN area. Acting has always been a passion of hers. Starting on the stage as early as preschool, KJ pursued her passion into college where she received a BA in Communication with a double emphasis in Theatre and Public Relations from Mississippi State University. After college she found herself more and more drawn to voice overs. Several classes, coaching sessions, seminars, research, and a closet-turned-studio later, and she now records and produces audiobooks on a regular basis. She has also done several radio commercials for clients such as Advance Financial, TriStar Health, and GAC. When she’s not in her booth, you can find her crocheting, playing video games, or running agility with her dogs.
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  I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Casi McLean. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it. https://willowwritesandreads.com/2020/03/17/between-the-shadows-by-casi-mclean-book-review/ Giveaway Lake Lanier Mysteries: 1- month Audible Membership https://widget.gleamjs.io/e.js
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A Pattern Of Shadow & Light Book 3 Audiobook Tour

Author: Melissa McPhail

Narrator: Nick Podehl

Length: 34 hours 44 minutes

Series: A Pattern of Shadow and Light, Book 3

Publisher: Podium Publishing

Released: Oct. 18, 2016

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Powerful beings from the fringes of Chaos have come to the realm of Alorin. Fate bends to their will, and their will is set upon Alorin’s destruction. Alone in understanding the threat they pose, Alorin’s Fifth Vestal, Björn val Gelderan, has launched a desperate plan to stop them: a “great game” played upon the tapestry of mortal life. Now, in Paths of Alir, Björn’s Players have taken the field. Along the lush Caladrian coast of Agasan, the truthreader Tanis d’Giverny returns to the place of his birth and finds mysterious and wonderful workings waiting for him. But the zanthyr Phaedor warns Tanis that ominous events lie ahead, and the lad soon wonders if even his mother’s magical lessons will be enough to keep him alive. In the dungeons of Tal’Shira, held prisoner by the Adept Inquisitor Taliah hal’Jaitar, Prince Trell val Lorian is facing a life of enslavement. Only two paths lie open before him: one means an eternity of torture fighting Taliah’s attempts to break him; the other requires surrendering to her will. But can he really sacrifice everything he is to walk Taliah’s path of twisted magic known as mor’alir? In the snow-bound Castle of Tyr’kharta, Prince Ean val Lorian must choose to save his brother Sebastian or his loyal men. But to choose his men means leaving Sebastian to an eternity of enslavement; while rescuing Sebastian means abandoning his friends, and his honor along with them. Either decision will test Ean’s newfound skills, as well as his conviction, for as the prince soon learns, once a man becomes a Player in the First Lord’s game, not even death can give reprieve.
Book 5 is now available!
The First Lord’s game has reached a critical apex. For the first time in millennia, the teams are equally matched. From the dimension of Shadow to the realm of T’khendar, from the Empire of Agasan to the fire deserts of Avatar, Ean, Tanis, Trell, Sebastian and the rest of Bjorn’s Players will be holding their positions against immortal enemies in a game where mortal consequences hang in the balance of every choice.
Melissa McPhail is the author of the best-selling epic fantasy series A Pattern of Shadow & Light. She’s the mother of twin girls who think boys in books are just better, and the adoptive mother to four very large cats who basically rule the roost; and while she can never leave the house in one attempt, she’s pretty darn good at spinning a tale. She’s also a classically trained pianist, violinist and composer, a Vinyasa yoga instructor, and an avid tea drinker. Melissa’s fantasy series has won eight best fantasy awards and (even more importantly to her) a fiercely devoted following. She is known for being an engaged author on social media and welcomes your thoughts on her work, the speculative fiction genre or writing in general.
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Nick Podehl is an award-winning audiobook narrator and voice actor who’s narrated hundreds of titles across many different genres. In addition to narrating the epic fantasy series A Pattern of Shadow and Light and prior to his new long-term deal with Podium, he narrated the epic fantasy series the Kingkiller Chronicles, as well as some iconic works of teen fiction – including Wonder, and Will Grayson, Will Grayson. He was named an Audible Customer Favorite in 2018 and has been honored with an Audie Award, along with multiple Earphones Awards from AudioFile Magazine. He lives and works in the Midwest with his lovely wife and two beautiful daughters.
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Podium is an industry-leading independent audiobook publisher built upon the foundation of successful partnerships with self-published authors and narrators. With deep share of voice in the genres of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Romance, the company has enjoyed quick commercial and critical acclaim, releasing almost 1,300 audiobooks, numerous best-sellers, winning an Audie Award and 13 Voice Arts Awards. Podium is best-known for supporting, nurturing and discovering independent authors and narrators from the U.S. and around the world. The company gained international notice when it took a risk on one-time unknown author Andy Weir (The Martian) and turned his e-book into the largest audiobook seller in the world.
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Q&A with Narrator Nick Podehl
  1. When did you know you wanted to be an audiobook narrator?
I think I decided that I wanted to do this for a living as soon as I finished narrating my first audiobook. Before it was finished, I just thought it would be fun and something different. Before I was cast for it, I didn’t even know it was a possibility. Just like many people, I had no idea how audiobooks were made. I thought they were made the same way as cookies and shoes: by little elves that live in trees.
  1. How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?
That was a complete and happy accident. I ended up giving it a try because I listened to my mother. She suggested I audition for this company that was in the next town over. They produced audiobooks since they were on reel-to-reel tapes. I ended up landing the audition and it has been 12 years ever since.
  1. Did you find it difficult to “break into” audiobook narration? What skill/tool helped you the most when getting started?
For me, it was not as difficult as it would be for others. I knew someone who was a casting director for a major company and they remembered me from my days of acting, in High-school of all places. They gave me a chance and decided to give me a shot. Like many things in life, its who you know that will land you a job and what you know that will keep it.
  1. A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?
I think the theatre background definitely helps. We have to play a multitude of different characters in one story and being trained in theatre helps with dissecting and developing all these different characters. The other thing that I have found to be very helpful from my days treading the boards is the manuscript preparation. As a stage actor, you need to diagram, study, and know intimately your script. I find the same to be true for audiobooks. I know there are people out there who can record a book with no prep work at all. I am just not that talented. I need to diagram, study, read every word, truly KNOW that manuscript before I can record it. And I think that shows in a performance.
  1. What type of training have you undergone?
Four years of being a Theatre major in college which included acting classes, dance, stage production, costume construction, and more. All of these things help me to visualize the books I am narrating. See what the characters are wearing. Feel the world they live in. It all just helps to bring the books and characters to life.
  1. How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for narrating?
I have been very blessed that I get to read a lot of fantastic books. Some very few are not as enjoyable. In those cases, I just have to find the things that I like and focus on that. I also try to make sure I schedule my recordings to give me some built in time to rest my voice and prep the next project. I try to not record week after week after week. I think my vocals would burn out if I tried that. I also make sure that I make family time a priority. There will always be work. I will work till I die. But I only have my family now. Tomorrow is not promised. Helps keep perspective.
  1. Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
I actually don’t usually listen to audiobooks. I find the cadence of many narrators to be too slow or too announcer-y. I know that is the way that it was done for years, but it is just not my cuppa tea. I also find I have no time for it. The rare occasion that I do listen to an audiobook is on long road trips. They really help pass the miles and make the drive more enjoyable.
  1. What are your favorite and least favorite parts of narrating an audiobook?
Favorite has got to be all the fun character voices I get to do. I do this at home too and it drives my wife and kids nuts. But I love speaking in fun accents and different voices. Narrating audiobooks gives me the outlet to use that skill. Least favorite would be prepping the manuscript. I literally read EVERY SINGLE WORD, so it takes me a loooooong time to read through a manuscript the first time. I want to skim, but I can’t. Sometimes, it goes by very slowly.
  1. What would you say are your strongest narration abilities?
I think my pacing and character voices. I know some are going to say that I read too fast. I think that is a preference thing. I can’t stand listening to someone read too slow. I don’t think it sounds natural. So I feel as thought I have a good blend of slow enough to understand but fast enough that it sounds like human beings actually speak. The voices because I love using fun accents and character choices in order to differentiate characters in a story. I find linguistic study to be fascinating and how accents shape the world we live in. Being able to utilize that interest for my work is just awesome.
  1. Is there a particular genre you feel unsuited for? Have you ever declined a project because you didn’t think you were right for it?
I don’t have a very deep and resonant voice so I feel those books that call for something like that are just not for me. I prefer to pass on Romance novels, unless they are tastefully done. I think that graphic sexual content in a book is used to either boost sales of a badly written story, or detracts and distracts from a well done, quality story. I just think it is unnecessary. Therefore, those kinds of books I will take a hard pass on.   I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Podium Publishing. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it. To Come
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Nite Fire Book 2 Audiobook Blog Tour

Audiobook Blog Tour: Nite Fire by C.L. Schneider

Author: C.L. Schneider

Narrator: Cassandra King

Length: 15 hours 25 minutes

Series: Nite Fire, Book 2

Publisher: C.L. Schneider

Released: Jan. 25, 2020

Genre: Urban Fantasy

If anyone can tell the difference between monsters and humans, it’s Dahlia Nite. For nearly a century, she’s hunted one to protect the other. Safeguarding humanity from the creatures that slip through the torn veil between the worlds. Creatures like her. But the lines are blurring. As people begin mutating and combusting on the streets, Dahlia realizes a strange affliction has descended upon Sentinel City. The mysterious ailment strikes all walks of life, from the posh high-end nightclub district to the homeless community. Its victims, driven to random acts of savagery, are drawing attention too fast to cover up. Assigned to the case, Dahlia and her human partner Detective Alex Creed investigate the deaths. But all they have are questions, bodies, and a public on the verge of panic. Working behind the scenes with her self-appointed sidekick Casey Evans, Dahlia struggles to discover what, or who, is behind the alarming transformations. As the violence spreads and the mystery unfolds, she wonders: Are the victims still human? Were they ever? Chain Reaction is the second book in the Nite Fire series.
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C.L. Schneider is an award-winning author of immersive fantasy fiction, including The Crown of Stones Trilogy and the Nite Fire Series. Born in a small Kansas town on the Missouri river, she penned her first novel at age sixteen on a typewriter in her parent’s living room. She currently resides in New York’s scenic Hudson Valley with her husband and two sons. To learn more about C.L. Schneider, and the worlds she creates, visit clschneiderauthor.com where you can read reviews and excerpts, subscribe to her newsletter, and join her Street Team. An active part of the indie author online community, you can often find her on social media, chatting about the daily ups and downs of a writer’s life.
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Narrator Bio Cassandra is a professional actor from New York. She works with a private acting trainer and has been making her way into the voice over world. Becoming an audiobook narrator was a great way to combine her desire to act and her passion for literature. She is currently working on book 2 of the Nite Fire series entitled ‘Chain Reaction’ as well as a Warhammer 30k fan film called ‘Death of Hope’. In addition to reading and acting, Cassandra also enjoys anime, sports, cooking, and traveling.
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  I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by C.L. Schneider. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it. To Come
Q&A with Author C.L. Schneider
  • What can you tell us about Nite Fire?
    • The Nite Fire books are written in first person, from the perspective of Dahlia Nite: a shapeshifting-creature hunter from a parallel world ruled by dragons. The series is based on the premise that all the creatures of our myths and legends actually exist, but on parallel worlds. Rips form between the worlds, the creatures slip through, and from those sightings our legends are born. Sometimes their visits are innocent blunders. Most “monsters” can’t sense the torn veil until they’re upon it. Many times, though, the incursions are planned—and deadly.
    • When the first tear opened on Dahlia’s home world of Drimera, the dragons that reside there took it upon themselves to monitor and restrict the “exits” to other worlds. Twisting and hiding the truth, fabricating lies and hoarding secrets like gold; many worlds have been impacted by Drimera’s choices. Their eons of shadowy maneuverings have turned reality into fantasy and truth into legend.
    • But, now, the monsters are getting bolder. The shadows are shifting out of place a little more every year, moving humanity closer and closer to an awakening. And somewhere out there, a mysterious global threat is growing…
  • What do you think readers would find compelling about your character?
    • I think what makes Dahlia stand out are her flaws. The perfect heroine can get boring fast. They always do the right thing, overcoming every obstacle without consequence. But that’s not real life. Real people are flawed. They make mistakes, have bad habits, and say the wrong thing. I want my readers to feel as if my characters are real. Even if they’re reading about someone who isn’t human, they still need to be able to relate to their fears, hopes, and mistakes. I think being able to identify with a “real” character drags people deeper into the story and keeps them invested on the character’s storyline.
  • What was your inspiration for writing Nite Fire?
    • I’m a bit of a fangirl. I love fantasy and sci-fi TV shows like Supernatural, X-Files, Jessica Jones, etc. The list of my favorite shows is far too long to mention here! I wanted to write something that was inspired by my love for those shows, with a “monster-of-the-week” quality to each book and an underlying mystery that develops throughout. I wanted to switch gears from the male character in my previous epic trilogy, to a strong female character that is equipped to take the (supernatural) world by storm—after her morning coffee, of course!
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • No. I hadn’t dived into the realm of audio yet. Once I did, and the process was started with book 1, it was in the back of my mind as I wrote book 2. Even more so with book 3. I thought of how certain scenes would sound as I crafted them. Something I hadn’t expected, is that I can hear my narrator’s voice when I’m writing Dahlia, as well as several of the other characters. I love that!
  • How did you select your narrator?
    • I met Cassie at a local comic con. She stopped at my table to check out my books, and we started chatting. She was cosplaying as one of my favorite characters (Rose Tyler from Dr. Who), and it didn’t take long before our conversation evolved. She told me about her audiobook narration, and I was instantly intrigued. I took Cassie’s card and contacted her a few months later. We had already hit it off. But once I listened to her audition, I knew she was the one to bring Dahlia to life.
  • How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
    • Cassie and I have worked very closely throughout the entire process. Before she started recording, I typed up character profiles and sent her info on potential voices. After she read Flash Point, we met for coffee and discussed the book at length. We keep in regular contact as she records the series. She’s a delight to work with and passionate about the story, which really shines through in her narration. She even dressed up as Dahlia Nite for Halloween last year!
  • How do you manage to avoid burn out? What do you do to maintain enthusiasm for writing?
    • I don’t really struggle with burnout. I almost always feel an urgency to write. What I struggle with is juggling everything else that comes with being a published author, plus family, friends, taking care of the house—so I can write—while attempting not to ignore anything or anyone. That’s where the burnout comes in: trying to fit it all in, with the urge to write constantly tapping on my brain. Every year I tell myself I’m going to work out a better schedule. Instead, I do what I always do: rely on multiple to-do lists, an understanding family, and lots of coffee.
  • Do you think certain types of writing can translate better into an audiobook?
    • I think unique characters that really stand out, and can be easily differentiated, are important. As is crisp dialogue that’s written in a way that is true to each character. The settings should be visually descriptive to put the listeners in the moment. Less-wordy styles of writing would keep those with split attentions (driving, etc.,) from wandering during the meandering sentences.
  • Is there a message that you to try convey with your writing, something you want your listeners and readers to take away?
    • Not really. There are themes in my writing, but they aren’t put there with some grand purpose. They are simply part of the story I’m telling. All I really want my readers to take away is a good time. My goal is to make them feel; the good and the bad. I want to take them on an adventure that leaves them smiling, laughing, crying, and ready to throw the book across the room. I can’t think of anything better than to keep someone glued to the pages—then leave them with a massive book-hangover!
  • What’s next for you?
    • The audio version of book 3, Smoke & Mirrors, will be releasing in the fall of 2020. I’m currently working on the draft of the 4th book in the Nite Fire Series: Slash & Burn. There will be a 5th book in 2021, Exit Strategy, to finish out the series. I have a novella coming out in late spring this year, as well, entitled: The Wandering Isles, which is a follow up to my other epic fantasy trilogy, The Crown of Stones.
Dream Cast Giveaway
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View the full 14-day schedule here

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Expeditionary Force Book 3 Audiobook Tour

Audiobook Series Tour: Expeditionary Force by Craig Alanson
INDEPENDENT ‘AUDIO-FIRST’ ENTERTAINMENT STUDIO RELEASES FIRST-EVER TRAILER FOR AUDIBLE’S #1 SCI-FI AUDIOBOOK SERIES: EXPEDITIONARY FORCE BY CRAIG ALANSON

Author: Craig Alanson

Narrator: R.C. Bray

Length: 15 hours 53 minutes

Series: Expeditionary Force, Book 3

Publisher: Podium Publishing

Released: May 23, 2017

Genre: Science Fiction

From multimillion dollar, best-selling author Craig Alanson (and narrated by fan-favorite R.C. Bray) Expeditionary Force is a New York Times best-selling military science-fiction series that will be composed of 14 novels. The first audiobook in the series, Columbus Day, was one of five finalists for the prestigious Audie Award in 2018 and has been optioned for film and television by Milmar Pictures (AIR FORCE ONE, CASTLE, HOLLOW MAN). Zachary Quinto (STAR TREK, NOS482, HEROES) and Kate Mulgrew (ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, STAR TREK: VOYAGER) starred in the epic Expeditionary Force audio drama HOMEFRONT; Armageddon, Book 8, debuted at #1 on all of Audible. Books 1-9 are available now on Audible.

While the crew of the starship Flying Dutchman have been trying to assure people that hostile aliens do not have access to Earth, the UN Expeditionary Force has been stranded on the planet they nicknamed “Paradise”. The Flying Dutchman is headed back out on another mission, and the UN wants the ship to find out the status of the humans on Paradise. But Colonel Joe Bishop warns that they might not like what they find, and they can’t do anything about it without endangering Earth.

Podium Audio is thrilled to announce the debut of the studio’s first audiobook trailer to mark the release of Valkyrie, the highly-anticipated ninth installment of New York Times best-selling author Craig Alanson’s Expeditionary Force sci-fi audiobook series. Voiced by R.C. Bray and edited by leading advertising agency Jump/Cut (trailers for PARASITE, FIRST REFORMED, CAPTAIN FANTASTIC), the audiobook trailer is Podium’s first foray into the audiovisual realm.

Podium Audio’s First-Ever Trailer Marks the Release of Valkyrie, the Highly-Anticipated Ninth Audiobook from the #1 Independently Published Sci-Fi Novelist in the World
Craig Alanson is a NYT best-selling author. His first audiobook ‘Columbus Day’ was one of five finalists for Audiobook Of The Year 2018 Visit craigalanson.com for FAQs, blog posts, merchandise, etc.
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From an early age Audie, Earphones, and SOVAS Voice Arts Award-winning audiobook narrator R.C. Bray despised reading. Truly hated it with a passion. And audiobooks? Even worse. Those were for people too lazy to read (not to be confused with those like himself who didn’t want to read to begin with). R.C. eventually got older and wiser (he was always good-looking) and eschewing his capricious convictions fell head-over-heels with reading. Not just to learn words like “eschew” and “capricious” so he could use them in a bio line, but because someone was actually going to give him money to do it. Note: R.C.’s gorgeous wife and three beautiful children begged him not to make this his official bio. Clearly he misunderstood.
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Podium is an industry-leading independent audiobook publisher built upon the foundation of successful partnerships with self-published authors and narrators. With deep share of voice in the genres of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Romance, the company has enjoyed quick commercial and critical acclaim, releasing almost 1,300 audiobooks, numerous best-sellers, winning an Audie Award and 13 Voice Arts Awards. Podium is best-known for supporting, nurturing and discovering independent authors and narrators from the U.S. and around the world. The company gained international notice when it took a risk on one-time unknown author Andy Weir (The Martian) and turned his e-book into the largest audiobook seller in the world.
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Q&A with Narrator R.C. Bray
  • When did you know you wanted to be an audiobook narrator?
    • When I heard Frank Muller for the first time (The Dark Tower, Book II: The Drawing of the Three). I always thought a narrator just “read” the book. When Frank started doing character voices and acting and just all-around engaging me as a listener, I knew that with my background it’s what I’m supposed to do.
  • How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?
    • My last job before becoming a full-time narrator, was as Senior Producer and Voiceover for a company owned by a wonderful guy named Mark Kaplowe who was the voice of HBO, Butterfinger, Zest, and other big businesses in the 90s. When his son was born, he wanted to eliminate traveling into NYC so he could be around him as much as possible. So he combined his love for automobiles and voiceover prowess, and began an ad company for local car dealerships. His big thing was “growing his business” and he loved audiobooks that were related to just that. Since I had a commute of about 45 minutes (both ways) he wanted me to listen to them as well. I listened to countless business audiobooks before I decided to try a fiction title – The Dark Tower, Book I: The Gunslinger by Stephen King seemed like a good, short place to start. George Guidall was an outstanding introduction to audiobooks (Fiction), but it wasn’t until Frank Muller that I actually made an effort to find out more about becoming a narrator.
  • Did you find it difficult to “break into” audiobook narration? What skill/tool helped you the most when getting started?
    • I had two great champions get me through the door: Pat Fraley and Scott Brick. Bringing my years of acting experience to narration impressed them enough to make suggestions, introductions, and continued support. Also, ACX was launched the same time I got into narration. Being able to use that as a means to navigate the process (along with many patient authors, rights holders, and independent publishers), was a godsend. Several of the titles I did via ACX garnered attention from bigger publishers and off I went.
  • What type of training have you undergone?
    • I was a CTA (Communications/Theatre Arts) major in college that performed Off-Broadway and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I also attended the Connecticut School of Broadcasting where, because of my theatre background, I excelled during the voiceover portion. It was my abilities in voiceover that was a catalyst to getting the job at Kaplowe Studios.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for narrating?
    • I keep from burning out by thinking of my past jobs. I don’t ever want to have to go back to doing any of them. The thought of that lights a massive fire in me.
  • What are your favorite and least favorite parts of narrating an audiobook?
    • Unless it’s really brilliant writing, my least favorite part is when I get to the middle and realize I’m only halfway done. My favorite part is being exposed to books I would likely have never picked up.
  • Is there a particular genre you feel unsuited for? Have you ever declined a project because you didn’t think you were right for it?
    • I’d love to be suited for children’s/YA novels, but I’m afraid my deep voice doesn’t jibe well with them.
  • How closely do you prefer to work with authors?
    • Enough to get certain information but definitely not so much they start to direct. You wrote it, now let me read it.
  • Who are your “accent inspirations”?
    • Frank Muller, Paul Michael, Scott Brick
  • What types of things are harmful to your voice?
    • No idea. I’m not a vocal warm-up kind of guy. I just go for it. Pneumonia sucks though.
  • Has anyone ever recognized you from your voice?
    • No, but after I tell people what I do (only if they ask, I don’t like bringing it up) they inevitably “hear it now!”
  • How does audiobook narration differ from other types of voiceover work you’ve done?
    • Stamina and dedication. TV/Radio spots are “drop-ins” while narration is an ongoing and much more rewarding process. The product is so much more satisfying.
  • Do you read reviews for your audiobooks?
    • When the mood strikes
  • If so, which ones stand out to you most, positive or negative?
    • Negative. I love them! They’re hysterical! Seriously – what kind of day/week/life must you be having to so viciously attack a narrator, story, etc.? It’s a book f*cking audiobook. Relax. But if you keep posting them, I’ll keep laughing my ass off at them!
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • Oh just shut the f*ck up already.
  • What bits of advice would you give to aspiring audiobook narrators?
    • You can find it all on my website – www.rcbray.com – under the “Two Cents” heading.
  • What’s next for you?
    • Just going to keep on keeping on.
  • Bonus question: Any funny anecdotes from inside the recording studio?
    • Plenty. But I’m afraid I’ll just have to keep those to myself!
  I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Podium Publishing. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it. https://willowwritesandreads.com/2020/03/18/paradise-by-craig-alanson-book-review/
Click here for the full 21-day schedule!

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Lake Lanier Mysteries Book 2 Audiobook Blog Tour

Audiobook Blog Tour: Lake Lanier Mysteries by Casi McLean

Author: Casi McLean

Narrator: Amy Deuchler

Series: Lake Lanier Mysteries, Book 2

Length: 8 hours 11 minutes

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Released: Mar. 26, 2018

Genre: Time Travel Romance

Piper Taylor concedes she’ll never fall in love, until a treacherous storm spirals her into the arms of the handsome Nick Cramer. Unrelenting remorse over a past relationship haunts Nick, but he can’t deny the mysterious connection and hot desire Piper evokes. The allure of a secret portal hidden beneath Atlanta’s Lake Lanier tempts him into seizing the opportunity to change his mistakes. But his time slip triggers consequences beyond his wildest dreams. Can Piper avoid the international espionage and terrorism of 2001 New York, find Nick, and bring him home before he alters the fabric of time, or will the lovers drift forever Beyond the Mist?
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Award winning author, Casi McLean, pens novels to stir the soul with romance, suspense, and a sprinkle of magic. Her writing crosses genres from ethereal, captivating shorts with eerie twist endings to believable time slips, mystical plots, and sensual romantic suspense, like Beneath The Lake, WINNER: 2016 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence for BEST Romantic Suspense. Casi’s powerful memoir, Wingless Butterfly: Healing The Broken Child Within, shares an inspirational message of courage, tenacity, and hope, and displays her unique ability to excel in nonfiction and self-help as well as fiction. Known for enchanting stories with magical description, McLean entices readers in nonfiction as well with fascinating hooks to hold them captive in storylines they can’t put down. Her romance entwines strong, believable heroines with delicious hot heroes to tempt the deepest desires then fans the flames, sweeping readers into their innermost romantic fantasies. Ms. McLean weaves exceptional romantic mystery with suspenseful settings and lovable characters you’ll devour. You’ll see, hear, and feel the magical eeriness of one fateful night. You’ll swear her time travel could happen, be mystified by her other worldly images, and feel heat of romantic suspense, but most of all you’ll want more.
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Narrator Bio
Amy is a Chicago-based voice artist and actor specializing in audiobook narration, e-learning, and radio or TV commercials. Amy is professionally trained in commercial and narration voiceover and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre from Marquette University and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In her spare time, Amy also enjoys reading, painting, designing lights and scenery for theatre, and biking. She lives with her boyfriend and their two cats and a dog just north of Chicago.
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  I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Casi McLean. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it. https://willowwritesandreads.com/2020/03/11/beyond-the-mist-by-casi-mclean-book-review/ Giveaway Lake Lanier Mysteries: 1- month Audible Membership https://widget.gleamjs.io/e.js
VIEW THE FULL 21-DAY SCHEDULE HERE!

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A Pattern Of Shadow And Light Audiobook Blog Tour

Author: Melissa McPhail

Narrator: Nick Podehl

Length: 29 hours

Series: A Pattern of Shadow and Light, Book 2

Publisher: Podium Publishing

Released: Sep. 6, 2016

Genre: Epic Fantasy

At long last, the reason for the blessed Adept race’s decline has been discovered: powerful beings known as Malorin’athgul are disrupting the Balance and preventing Alorin’s Adepts from awakening to their gifts. Who are they? Where are they? And how can they be stopped when they wield a power meant to unmake the universe itself? In T’khendar, Prince Ean val Lorian has forsaken his companions in blood and battle to join the traitorous Fifth Vestal in T’khendar in the hopes of gaining some insight into the tragedies that plagued his return. Now, he must confront the man he’s long thought of as his enemy and discover the role he is meant to play in the First Lord’s darkly magnificent game. The Vestal Raine D’Lacourte has followed his traitorous oath-brother, Björn, through six kingdoms and into the distant realm of T’khendar seeking explanation and atonement. But the condemned realm harbors shocking secrets, and Raine soon realizes he’s facing his greatest enemy yet – not in Björn, but in the truth. Elsewhere in Alorin, the young truthreader, Tanis, faces a new villain in the fiery-eyed man he followed from the café in Rethynnea; the soldier Trell struggles to reconcile his growing feelings for the girl he rescued from the river against the guilt of his unknown past; and in Tambarré, another truthreader named Kjieran van Stone treads the incense-filled hallways of the Prophet Bethamin’s temple, hoping to uncover a plot of treachery and betrayal before the Prophet demands his soul. The time has come for each player to claim his role in the First Lord’s masterful game. All will be tested, but only time will tell how many can survive the dagger of Adendigaeth.
Book 5 is now available!
The First Lord’s game has reached a critical apex. For the first time in millennia, the teams are equally matched. From the dimension of Shadow to the realm of T’khendar, from the Empire of Agasan to the fire deserts of Avatar, Ean, Tanis, Trell, Sebastian and the rest of Bjorn’s Players will be holding their positions against immortal enemies in a game where mortal consequences hang in the balance of every choice.
Melissa McPhail is the author of the best-selling epic fantasy series A Pattern of Shadow & Light. She’s the mother of twin girls who think boys in books are just better, and the adoptive mother to four very large cats who basically rule the roost; and while she can never leave the house in one attempt, she’s pretty darn good at spinning a tale. She’s also a classically trained pianist, violinist and composer, a Vinyasa yoga instructor, and an avid tea drinker. Melissa’s fantasy series has won eight best fantasy awards and (even more importantly to her) a fiercely devoted following. She is known for being an engaged author on social media and welcomes your thoughts on her work, the speculative fiction genre or writing in general.
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Nick Podehl is an award-winning audiobook narrator and voice actor who’s narrated hundreds of titles across many different genres. In addition to narrating the epic fantasy series A Pattern of Shadow and Light and prior to his new long-term deal with Podium, he narrated the epic fantasy series the Kingkiller Chronicles, as well as some iconic works of teen fiction – including Wonder, and Will Grayson, Will Grayson. He was named an Audible Customer Favorite in 2018 and has been honored with an Audie Award, along with multiple Earphones Awards from AudioFile Magazine. He lives and works in the Midwest with his lovely wife and two beautiful daughters.
Website
Podium is an industry-leading independent audiobook publisher built upon the foundation of successful partnerships with self-published authors and narrators. With deep share of voice in the genres of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Romance, the company has enjoyed quick commercial and critical acclaim, releasing almost 1,300 audiobooks, numerous best-sellers, winning an Audie Award and 13 Voice Arts Awards. Podium is best-known for supporting, nurturing and discovering independent authors and narrators from the U.S. and around the world. The company gained international notice when it took a risk on one-time unknown author Andy Weir (The Martian) and turned his e-book into the largest audiobook seller in the world.
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Q&A with Author Melissa McPhail: Part II
  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
    • You would have to ask this of the many readers of mine who have both listened to and read the series, often multiple times.
  • If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
    • I would save the Library of Alexandria.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • I think they’re taking a limited view.
    • One value of fiction is that it builds imagination. I admit a certain bias when saying that fantasy and other speculative fiction may be more efficacious towards this end than mainstream fiction, because generally speculative fiction requires real effort on the part of the reader to picture the unfolding world and events in his or her mind.
    • But I think that all reading is valuable, if only for the life lessons, insight and a view towards experience that reading provides those who may not ever have those experiences themselves.
    • If a person will never find the time to sit down and read a book but can make the time to listen to a book, isn’t it far more important for the story to reach an audience than the specific means of its telling? It would be much more challenging for me to sit down and read twenty-two hours of lectures on the Black Death, but I could listen to them all in the car while running errands or handling projects throughout my day.
    • Lastly, some people are auditory learners and actually retain information (whether real or imaginary) much better if they hear it instead of read it.
  • How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?
    • I took time off in a tropical location to make my way through a large chuck of my desperately backlogged To Be Read list.
  • What gets you out of a writing slump? What about a reading slump?
    • I have far too many books on my TBR to have ever experienced a reading slump, but if I’m stuck on a chapter or suffering from writer’s block, I usually go for a long drive with some favorite music, and somewhere along the way, the ideas will start flowing.
  • In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series?
    • I’ve only ever written a series, so I can speak to the pros and cons of this side of the question. A series is perfect for my genre, because epic fantasy readers generally want to be immersed in the world, and so long as the characters are interesting and the story is entertaining, they’ll want to stay in the world as long as possible.
    • Writing a series means you have three or more books to fully develop your characters and carry the plot through to its conclusion. In my case, I’m 1.5 million words in print and writing the sixth and final book in the series now. That’s a lot of potential for world-building and character development!
    • It’s been a huge joy for me to see endless possibilities for creation in the universe of my series, and to have the freedom to develop specific characters and subplots that deepen the story and contribute to the vitality of my world.
    • In my opinion, the largest cons of this kind of storytelling are a) that there are numerous chances to make mistakes in continuity, b) you have to be careful to avoid making each new conflict so much bigger than the last one, lest you wind up with Michael Bay-style action or characters that are so powerful they’re practically gods (which ruins the tension and leaves few challenges for the character to overcome), and c) you run the risk of feeling ready to write something new and different while your current series is still far from finished.
  • What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
    • Write, write, write and write some more. In my experience, it takes at least 300,000 words for a writer to gain a concept of his/her own voice in any way that is lasting.
  • What’s next for you?
    • After I finish A Pattern of Shadow and Light (most likely with book six, though I once said that about book five also), I have an urban fantasy in the wings, which I look forward to developing.
  I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Podium Publishing. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it. To Come
Click here for the full 21-day schedule!

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