Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Voices are Crystal Clear

Thought for the day:  I think I did pretty well, considering I started out with nothing but a bunch of blank paper. [Steve Martin]

Here we are again. It's the first Wednesday of yet another month, which means it's time for another gathering of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, the inspired brain child of ninja writer Alex Cavanaugh. For hundreds of writers all over the world, the support starts here. 

Here, we can air our concerns, and share our successes. Want to join us? To sign up, or just to find links to the posts written by other members this month, please go HERE.

Now then, what do I want to bellyache about bring up for discussion this month?

REVIEWS!

Yes, I know we can't put too much stock in reviews. But come on; admit it. Don't you do a serious get-down-and-boogie happy dance every time someone writes a fantastic review of your book, especially if that review shows (s)he got your book, and by extension, got you? That's validation in the highest degree, people!

So here's my beef. Why, oh why, oh why do people tell me how much they loved my book, and tell me they're going to write a review right away... and then never do? As a suitably insecure writer, when I know for a fact someone is reading my book, but they don't follow up by posting a review, I assume they hated the book, and don't want to hurt my feelings by telling the world how much it sucks. (Please tell me I'm not the only one who reacts this way.) But when people actually take the time to send me an email to declare their love for my book and promise a review that never happens... I don't get it.  

There. Rave over.

Now for this month's question: What is your favorite aspect of being a writer?

When the muse is pushing me forward at warp speed, and the voices in my head are crystal clear, that's pretty darned exciting, but I think my favorite part is getting positive feedback from readers. Knowing that readers can relate to your story, and laugh at the things you think are funny, and cry at the things you think are sad, is to me, the greatest reward of all. (Even if they don't write reviews!)

Okay, it's time to strike up the band and throw some sparkly confetti as we celebrate the much-anticipated release of the final book of Crystal Collier's Timeless trilogy. I'm going to go ahead and close out my portion of the post, and let Crystal take it away. NOTE: This is the only post for this week, but I'll be back again NEXT Friday, Hope to see you then.

                                        Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.
                                                  And read Crystal's books... they're great!



Welcome Crystal Collier here today to share her brand new book!


Title: TIMELESS

Series: Maiden of Time, #3

Author: Crystal Collier

Pages: 253

Publication: November 1, 2016

Publisher: Raybourne Publishing

ISBN: 9781629830056



TIME IS THE ENEMY.


In 1771, Alexia had everything: the man of her dreams, reconciliation with her father, even a child on the way. But she was never meant to stay. It broke her heart, but Alexia heeded destiny and traveled five hundred years back to stop the Soulless from becoming.



In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.



Can Alexia escape her own clock?



Buy: Amazon | B&N

What reviewers are saying:

“A magical, fast-paced, romantic adventure…” --T. Drecker, Bookworm for Kids



“A story of love...true and forbidden love. There's mystery…tension, action...everything.” –Chrys Fey, author of Ghost of Death



"SWOON." --Sherlyn, Mermaid with a Book Reviewer




Alexia had assumed his home was a
hut in some local village. “Where is it you came from?”
Deamus motioned upward.
Alexia followed his aim to the
warming sky, stars fading. “From the stars?”
Both hands disappeared behind his
back as he considered her closely. Something in his stare solidified, and he
leaned forward, lifting an arm and pointing. “There. Out beyond those lights
waits another earth, one where…where we live without fear. Only those with Passionate
blood dwell there.”
The idea whirled her head like a top
he was spinning just to watch her grow dizzy.
Amos stepped between them. “Tell me
about this place.”
Deamus backed away, gaze shifting
shyly to the ground.
Alexia touched his arm. “Tell me.”
“The other land was created long ago by a powerful man.
There has never been a man more powerful.”
To create an entire world… Alexia
still couldn’t quite fathom it. Only God possessed that kind of power.
“When humanity began destroying…the
Passionate, he knew he had to stop them.” He brought his fists together and
pulled them apart to illustrate. “It would mean separating two worlds. He
studied and gathered and worked for decades to make his dream a reality, and at
last, he did it.”
Alexia gave him a skeptical frown.
“Separated two worlds out of one?”
“I heard me somethin’ like this
story before.” Regin scratched his chin. “Weren’t there two sons and some kind
of battle?”
Deamus stilled and shifted away as
if he’d forgotten about his larger audience.
“Do continue,” Alexia urged.
“A bridge was erected, a bridge of
light that allowed our kind to pass over, but the cost of channeling so much
power was the man’s life.” Deamus bit his lip. His chin shook and he looked
away. Quiet accosted them. Alexia wondered if he would continue when he
straightened his shoulders, lips puckered in a frown. “He left two sons.” He
gave a quick nod at Regin. “Both studied his arts and followed in his path, but
one was tempted and drawn into dark powers, the kind that consume the soul.” A
line appeared between his eyebrows. “The other watched over and protected the
Passionate—mostly from his brother.”
Alexia glanced up at the
disappearing stars and shivered, feeling suddenly very small. “And how do you
know of this other world?”
Deamus’s head tilted, hope shimmering in his
gaze. “It is my home.”


Crystal Collier is an eclectic author who pens clean fantasy/sci-fi, historical, and romance stories with the occasional touch of humor, horror, or inspiration. She practices her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, four littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese.

Find her online HERE.


(Email address is required for awarding prizes.)



83 comments:

  1. Congratulations to Crystal. And heartfelt thanks to writers everywhere. You enrich my world.

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    1. I concur, Sue. Writers have been making my world a better place for as long as I can remember.

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  2. The book's concept has me a little confused; going back centuries in time to save her own bloodline, when it must have already been saved because there she is 400 years later?
    Perhaps I've misunderstood.

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    1. Goodness, I hope it isn't confusing. No, the Knights Templar are the ones working to exterminate her bloodline. She just happens to land in that time period and is fighting against them as well.

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    2. The books are imaginative, exciting, and a little scary. I think you'd enjoy them, River.

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    3. Crystal; thank you, I re-read Susan's post and it does make more sense.

      Susan; I'm sure I'd enjoy them, I've recently read a similar series by a different author and found I could put them down.

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  3. Hi Susan - yes receiving compliments for one's work is such a pleasure ... I love the idea of Crystal's book .. but hadn't considered River's thought ... I got lost in the 400 years of history .. cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary, I suppose that's because you read the blurb the way it was intended to be interpreted. I can certainly see why the confusion though.

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    2. Hi-ya, Hilary. Yeah, I think everyone appreciates an occasional heartfelt compliment. Even a dog wants a pat on the head every once in a while. :)

      Cheers back atcha.

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  4. That Steve Martin quote is so great! I might need to make that my NaNo mantra. :)

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    1. Good idea. Just write that quote on a piece of paper and keep it handy while you're deep in the frenzy of NaNo. Here's wishing you luck with it.

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  5. Congrats to Crystal.

    People just can't be bothered, even when they say they will, and others can't think of anything to say, as they aren't the writer. "Loved it" seems a bit off putting to stick in. But on the flip side, if they really hated it, they'd have plenty to say. So saying nothing means they didn't really hate it.

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    1. I don't expect everyone who reads my book to like it, and I realize most people don't write reviews. That's cool. I get it. I just don't understand why anyone would go to the trouble of contacting me with the specific purpose of telling me they're gonna write a review and then... don't. It just doesn't make sense to me. C'est la vie.

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  6. You know, Susan, people really do have the best of intentions. Whenever anyone tells me they loved one of my books, I ask them to write a review, then follow up once--not all stalkerish, just in passing. If they don't, I figure life got as insane as my life. It's so easy to get lost in the head games as an author, eh?

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    1. Yeah, I know people generally have good intentions. I don't think I've ever asked anyone to write a review, but when someone announces voluntarily that they're gonna do it...? Oh well. In those cases, like you, I have gently reminded them afterwards. One time only. Then I give up on it.

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  7. I'm learning that lots of folks just don't do what they say they're going to do and I'm learning not to judge or criticize. I wish it were different. It's actually what my post is about today. But it is what it is and we can't control or change it.

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    1. That's a good way to be, Karen. I try not to judge or criticize, but it IS very disappointing when words and actions don't agree.

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  8. With Seismic Crimes and now 30 Seconds Before, I am waiting for some reviews from people who said they'd review them. It is aggravating when months go by. After a while, I do follow up with them. Usually that gets them to post something. No harm in asking. :)

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    1. No, no harm in asking, but I'll only remind someone one time, and that's only if that person came to me with the idea of writing a review in the first place. But I feel your pain. It IS aggravating.

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  9. I understand your rave. Then again, one can give a bad review, but don't be super mean either. I've had some doozies.
    as far as good cruising with writing - I'm happy if someone says they did laugh. Always nice to get a pat on the back.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. How DARE someone give you a bad review... ? I got one of those, too. (It only hurt for a little while.)

      You're right... it feels sooooo good to make someone laugh. As long as they're laughing at something we meant to be funny, and not at our writing... :)

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  10. I'm with Chrys. I nudge after a while. People are busy and they don't always remember to put your book at the top of the list.

    I think I'll pass on getting a cat if that's how they react to inspired prose.

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    1. Oh no, I think it's in the rule book that all writers must have at least one cat... at least, that's what our cats told ME.

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  11. I'm guilty of slow posting reviews. The smartest way to do them is to just do them when prompted by kindle at the end of the book, but I usually need a moment to mull it all over...then I forget to go back and post. In my defense, I often forget to pay the electric bill too.

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    1. HA! You crack me up. I try to write a review as soon as I finish a book, and not let myself start reading another one until I post it. That's the plan, anyway.

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  12. As someone who reviews in my head, a lot of times if I want to post a formal review I'll reread the book and then post my review, pulling quotes as I go. But with a 3 year old, I may not have the time I originally thought I did to get this done. What I'm trying to say is, sometimes life just gets in the way. Don't think it has anything to do with your book because a vast majority of the time it doesn't. Just keep writing!

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    1. Yes, ma'am! I'll keep that in mind. Thanks. :)

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  13. I struggle to write reviews - either I feel like I sound like an overly enthusiastic reviewer with the same phrases in every review, or I just don't know how to capture the book in a few short phrases without giving the entire plot away.

    Anyway, keep on writing and keep on reading the good reviews!

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    1. Writing reviews can be pretty challenging, but sometimes we make the job harder than it has to be. Some of my favorite reviews are very brief, and don't say a single thing about the plot.

      I will. You do the same!

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  14. I learned after the release of my first book not to expect reviews from people who say they will write one. I think people are well-meaning and *want* to help, but then get stage fright when it comes to actually writing a review.

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    1. You could be right. Maybe some people are actually (gasp!) afraid to write!

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  15. Congratulations, Crystal!
    That's why I never promise a review. But if I do promise, then it's because I read and enjoyed a book.

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    1. Smart way to handle it, Alex. It can be uncomfortable when a writer asks you to write a review before you've read a book, and then you don't like it... :(

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  16. Checking in with you IWSG folks. It is fascinating to try and understand the processes.

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    1. And we appreciate you for checking up on us. :)

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  17. I am bad at getting round to reviews, I have to admit. I find it hard to sum up my thoughts succinctly even if it's something I really loved. Trying to get better though! Congrats to Crystal. Her books rock.

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  18. I'm hopeless at reviews. By the time I get to the end of a book, I've forgotten so much except that I either enjoyed it so much I couldn't put it down, or I disliked it so much I didn't bother finishing.

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    1. If all you remember after finishing a book is your overall impression and opinion of it, that's plenty. I've seen a lot of reviews in which readers either say they loved a certain book, thought it was only so-so, or it wasn't worth finishing. Sometimes, readers may support their opinion with reasons, but not always. Sure, some people like to write long detailed reviews, but it isn't necessary, and may even be counterproductive. A short honest opinion suffices. On Goodreads, readers can simply rate any book from one to five stars, without saying a word about it.

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  19. Crystal's book is burning up the blogosphere!
    Way to go!
    ...and I downloaded my free copy of Moonless!
    Now I need to find time to read it...I'm still adding books to the TBR...even though it has toppled over! LOL
    Hi Susan! *waving*

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    1. LOL! Michelle, not yet. Soon, but not yet. ;)

      Let me loan you my time stopper for reading, eh?

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  20. Hi Susan, Uh, oh I hope I'm not one of those people you're talking about. I loved Hot Flashes and Cold Lemonade, and I think I wrote a review a while back. Please let me know if I didn't. In some instances, I've had trouble posting reviews, because I didn't have my own Amazon account. So if I purchased the book using my husband's account then I couldn't write a review. Once I opened my own account, I still ran into a few glitches and had trouble posting reviews. In other words, there might be other tech challenged people who have encountered problems.

    On another note, congrats to Crystal on her beautiful new book!

    It's always great to see you, Susan!

    Julie

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    1. Hi-ya, Julie! Good to hear from you. Hey! I'm not your mother, so relax. No, I'm not talking about you. :) If I remember right, I think you left a very nice review on Goodreads, but even if you didn't leave any kind of review anywhere, that would've been fine, because you didn't call or email me to SAY you were going to write one, and then ... nothing. I'm completely bumfuzzled by that kind of behavior. I mean, they didn't HAVE to contact me to make that promise...

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  21. I believe the entire review system is irredeemable. Still, reviews matter because they’re important to potential book buyers. Canvassing for reviews is a lot like panhandling, and what does a panhandler do with an IOU? That’s essentially the situation when someone promises a review and doesn’t follow through. The thing is, it’s only writers who understand the importance of reviews. "Civilians" can comprehend how much weight the promise of a review carries.

    VR Barkowski

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    1. You're right. Most readers don't have an inkling how much their reviews mean to us, so I've just got to learn to take those promises with a handful of salt. (I LIKE salty stuff.)

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  22. When someone says your writing has made them cry...yep, that's when you know you are reaching them.

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    1. Yes, and it's an awesome feeling, isn't it?

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  23. I never knew how important reviews are to writers and never would have thought to leave a review until I got to know you, Susan. So now I make a point of leaving one.

    Crystal Collier's book sounds interesting. I'm intrigued by stories about time travel (as a matter of fact, I started watching a new TV series with the same name...and I don't watch a whole lot of TV, but this I had to check out). I noticed it's #3 in a series...do I need to or should I read #1 and #2 first? Or does this book stand alone?

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    1. Cool! I'm glad to hear that. I think reviews matter to ALL writers. :)

      I just bought "Timeless" and haven't read it yet, so I can't say for SURE, but my guess is, it'd be a lot easier to understand what's going on if you read all three books in order. If I'm not mistaken, the e-version of book #1 is available for FREE right now, so now's a great opportunity to give the series a try.

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    2. Hi! I should refer you to reviewers Ms. Pixel. =) According to them, you can read the third book and enjoy it, but those who have read the entire series BEG you to read the first two books first. I promise they're all good. ;)

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  24. You ask, Susan, why people don't write those promised reviews. I think: at the moment they want to please you (and are honest) - but then they are lazy (because it takes time and effort). Maybe they feel insecure too.
    Of course I cut out reviews in paper - they are a good remedy against what is called the "impostor-syndrom" many successful authors (and very often women) suffer from. (Asking myself: Have I really earned that success/praise etc)

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    1. Dear Britta,

      Your reasoning for why people don't write promised reviews is logical, and very likely true. Thanks for the insight.

      I've saved the kind emails and pictures people have sent me about the book. Even if they never got around to write those promised reviews, their emails touch my heart, stroke my wobbly ego, and go a long way toward dispelling that dreaded Impostor Syndrome. :)

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  25. Thanks for stopping by and welcoming to this group.

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    1. It was my pleasure. I hope you enjoy being a part of the group for many years to come.

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  26. I'm a writer, and I love good reviews! I'm also a reader, and I'm lousy at leaving reviews, even though I know how important they are. I have no excuse or reason. However, I do try to promote writers and books I like on social media, so maybe I get half a point for that.

    Good luck to Crystal with Timeless!

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    1. Oh, you get at LEAST a half-point. You do a wonderful job supporting fellow writers.

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  27. Timeless sounds like a good read indeed. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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  28. I'm seeing Crystal's books everywhere. Can't wait to read them! I feel your pain when it comes to reviews. Try writing a chapter book. Friends/peers will NOT read them. Ever. They'll buy them for their kids, but they won't read them. That's not the case with middle grade and young adult. Adults will read those all day. I get it--although I did LOVE Junie B. Jones as an adult--but it makes it tough to get reviews, for sure. 6-year-olds aren't big Amazon reviewers!

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    1. Hmmm, I can see where that would be a problem. I'll stop grumbling about the lack of adult reviews now... :) Thanks for putting things into perspective for me.

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    2. Stephanie, my goal is to take over the internet. ;) It's definitely hard to get young kids to review books. I mean, they have to use a parent's account and...ooh! Idea. Know any teachers? Have them offer the opportunity as a class project where parents are involved.

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  29. What I like about being a writer is that I'm my own boss. (When my wife's not home of course).

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    1. I'm not even the boss when my hubby isn't home. My cats are. (At least, that's what they keep telling me...)

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  30. Great to see Crystals book all over. Congratulations Crystal!

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  31. i'm writing all the time, friend Susan, but do not consider myself a writer per se ... my poems are my children ... i agonise and revise and regroup them endlessly ... but i never keep them for more than a year ... come December 31st, i kill them all and start new, and that's how it is. Love, cat. PS: Come and see my travel blog, hmmm? http://ckpeacemaker.wordpress.com/

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    1. NOOOOO! Your poetry is fabulous, and the thought of you killing those children is horrifying. You ARE a writer, dear friend, and your poems are meant to be shared and cherished. A book of them, perhaps? (I'd buy it!)

      Okay, time to go a-travelin', then...

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  32. Cheers to Crystal, and great sample! Cool world-building and I'm intrigued by the Passionate.

    We have friends that we've both known for, oh, 25 years now (since we were wee ones) that promise us reviews and still won't write them. That hurts way more than the acquaintances that promise reviews, but they all hurt, dammit. Why is it that asking for a 1 sentence review is like pulling teeth with people?

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    1. Yeah, it does hurt, but we have to learn not to take it too personally. Unfortunately, I think some people would rather let you yank one of their teeth than make them write and post a review. Feels like dreaded "homework" to them, I guess.

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