The Perfect Blend: Coffee and Kane


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BLOG CHAT: Jenny and Loreley talk “HALLOWEEN HOLLER”

Posted by on Oct 23rd, 2017 in Blog, Books For Children, Fiction, Interview, Jenny Kane | 0 comments

Hello and welcome on this (still dark) morning, it’s Jenny here! As the days are getting shorter and the nights longer- alongside  my working hours- I thought it was a good time to share some much needed caffeine with an equally worn out writer. So, let me introduce you to Loreley Amiti- fellow writer and all round lovely person. This morning Loreley and I have put our pens aside so we can chat in front of an open laptop. Let’s see what happens… Are you ready, Loreley? Yes, definitely. As ready as I’ll ever be at this early hour. Hello everyone! So, tell me, what are you up to at the moment? That’s a good question, as there are so many things going on at once. I have two readings coming up on 26th and 27th October, which I’m really looking forward to. Are these for your children’s books? Yes, I’ll be reading my latest picture book “Halloween Holler”, which is about the grumpy cats of the North of Exeter who want to take over the feared dogs of the South. They’re planning on conjuring up a mighty cat army on the night of Halloween but unfortunately for them, the dogs have the same plan and things go terribly wrong. When you say “terribly”… No, no, it’s not that bad. It’s for small children, after all. Just really funny, because they’re all hilariously grumpy and in the end, they make friends when they least expect to do so. What made you write this story? I think it came up during endless hours on the bus with my small daughter. Most ideas for my children’s books have actually been born either on the bus or wherever we had a longer wait. We have to travel between the famous North and South a lot and at some point, I had to come up with some sort of entertainment. I love Exeter, but I’m in the process of getting a car now… Does that mean you will stop writing children’s books then? Hopefully not, but I will definitely take a break from it at some point soon to focus on my adult fiction. Children’s books are great and I love meeting my youngest readers, but as soon as I have covered every season with one book, it’s time to move on with my fiction books. So many ideas, so little time… I know what you mean! Have you got a favourite book among the ones you have written? I should be saying “all of them”, shouldn’t I… Of course, I love them all for very different reasons. I don’t have a favourite to be quite honest, but I love “Halloween Holler”, for example, because the leader of all the grumpy cats, Luke, was based on the character of our own cat. It’s just heart-warming to see my little daughter showing our cat the illustrations of Luke and telling him the story in her own words. She also told him off for always looking so extra grumpy in the book. She is not very impressed with me though, because Luke lives with a boy called Ben, which is clearly wrong. – Silly Mummy! That’s brilliant! So where can we find you and your new book? Well, it’s obviously on Amazon and can be...

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Improving the recipe: a slice of lemon cake

Posted by on Oct 21st, 2017 in Blog, Contemporary fiction, Contemporary Romantic Fiction, Fiction | 2 comments

In May of this year I started to write a brand new contemporary fiction novel. Normally I would have finished it long ago, but what with writing a novel as Jennifer Ash and starting Imagine, as well, I have been rather slower with my Jenny Kane words this year. However, I am delighted to say that I have now reached the redrafting stage of my next novel, which goes by the working title of Lemon Cake, Espresso, and Thigh Boots. Redrafting is rather like improving a recipe. I’m adding in an extra spoonful of words here and there, taking out excess sugar, and removing the overdose of fat (well commas actually). Set in and around both the Roman Baths, Bath and the New York Central Public Library in the USA, this novel will have a little more in the way of spice than my previous JK novels- although not enough for it to warrant an over 18’s only sticker! Playful and fun, this story deals with the problems that go hand in hand with consciously deciding to live with two personalities…something I might just know something about. There will – of course- be coffee involved. Espresso in this case- plus a serious- and I do mean serious- lemon cake craving. I shall say no more about the plotline for now. When will it be finished? Watch this space… Happy reading, Jenny xxx   Share...

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Bampton Charter Fair

Posted by on Oct 20th, 2017 in Blog, Books For Children, Contemporary fiction, Contemporary Romantic Fiction, crime, Fiction, Jenny Kane, News, writing tips | Comments Off on Bampton Charter Fair

Next week, on 26th October, I’m delighted to say I will be at the Bampton Charter Fair, selling my books, reading, and giving talks to adults and children about my work, and the joy of playing with words. I will be with my fellow authors from the Exeter Author Association- you’ll be able to find us in the Community Hall on Station Road, conveniently next to a café and a nonstop supply of coffee! The Devonshire Bampton Charter Fair has been an established tradition for centuries. here’s what the official Charter Website has to say- Bampton Fair existed even before King Henry III granted it a Royal Charter in 1258 and it is always held on the last Thursday of October. It is one of the oldest surviving Charter Fairs in the country. For centuries, the fair mainly sold sheep and cattle and was the largest sheep fair in the South West of England. During the 1880’s to the 1980’s it evolved to become the famous Bampton Pony Fair trading in Exmoor ponies. Today this traditional Devon fair continues to attract local producers of foods and livestock, crafts and traditional skills from Exmoor and its surrounding villages. The streets, church, pubs and venues of Bampton are filled to over flowing with around 100 stalls, entertainments  including craft and music workshops, demonstrations and concerts, and funfair. Opening from 9am, the Charter Fair regularly attracts in the region of 10,000 visitors- so why not come along and join the fun, pick up a few early Christmas presents, and hear a story or two along the way. Hope to see you there! Jenny xx Share...

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10 REASONS TO GO ON AN IMAGINE WRITING RETREAT

Posted by on Oct 12th, 2017 in Blog, Contemporary fiction, Contemporary Romantic Fiction, crime, Fiction, Historical fiction, Imagine, Jenny Kane, News | 4 comments

Alison Knight and I are proud to present our very first “Imagine” writing retreat… 10 reasons to go on an Imagine Writing Retreat… 1                    Writers need writers! No one understands writing and a writer’s life like another writer. Mutual support is the name of the game! 2                    Located in the stunning Victorian manor, Northmoor House, Imagine’s retreat gives you the chance to stay in a home untouched by time (But don’t panic, there is Wi-Fi). You can even indulge in the waters of an original Victorian bathtub…don’t forget your bubble bath! 3                    With so many of the manor’s period features still in place, Northmoor is the ideal location for sparking inspiration and dreaming up new plotlines. 4                    On the edge of Exmoor, near the popular village of Dulverton, there are plenty of beautiful places to explore should you, or any non-writing friends or partners, wish to. There are miles of good walking land on hand. The pre-historic Tarr Steps are but minutes away, and the cafes in Dulverton are excellent. I can personally recommend the poached eggs on crumpets in The Copper Kettle.   5                    However, you might not want to stray into the village for food because we have employed an excellent local caterer, who is providing a delicious menu that will cater for all dietary requirements. All food is locally sourced. 6                    Come along for a confidence boost! At Imagine we pride ourselves on helping everyone to get their words onto the page. We are here for beginners and experts alike. 7                    Meet Kate Griffin! One of Faber and Faber’s most successful crime writers. Kate Griffin is the author of the brilliant Kitty Peck Mysteries. An expert on Victorian London, Kate will be our guest speaker on the Wednesday evening. 8                    Find your inner writer’s peace of mind. We all know that authors suffer from imposter syndrome: “Why am I writing? I’m not good enough!” We all say it! Local happiness mentor and fellow writer, Trina Stacey, will be available for optional one-to-one conversations about how to believe in your abilities, and convince you that you are allowed to do what makes you happy. 9                    Let’s face it – Monday to Friday in a beautiful Victorian Manor, with time to write, all food provided, plus three optional workshops, a chance to meet Kate Griffin, and the opportunity to share writing ideas over a glass of wine (or two) – for only £450 (10% less if you book before 31st October) is a BARGAIN. 10               IT WILL BE A LOT OF FUN! *** Full details are available at https://www.imaginecreativewriting.co.uk/writing-retreats  If you have any queries please email Alison or myself at imaginecreativewritng@gmail.com PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THE EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT ENDS ON 31ST OCTOBER Now is the time to drop heavy hints about wanting a writing retreat for Christmas…  Happy writing everyone, Jenny xx Share...

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Guest post from Marie Gameson: The Giddy Career of Mr Gadd (deceased)

Posted by on Oct 11th, 2017 in Blog, Contemporary fiction, Fiction, Jenny Kane, News | 2 comments

I’m delighted to welcome Marie Gameson to my blog today to talk a little about her fascinating new book, The Giddy Career of Mr Gadd (deceased). Over to you Marie…   “Winifred is exasperated by her Catholic mother’s inability to accept her conversion to Buddhism, and by her family’s determination to drag her back to her former life. But when an elderly stranger – haunted by his dead father – turns up on Winnie’s doorstep, insisting that stories she wrote as a teenager hold the key to his supernatural problems, Winnie is forced to renew acquaintance with her younger self. Why did she write about a Mr Gadd, who died years before she was born?” The Giddy Career of Mr Gadd (deceased) does have lots of humour, but the main theme is grief – not so much grief for the dead as for the living. The main character, Winnie Rigby, is exasperated that her conversion to Buddhism and attachment to the Orient are strongly resisted by her Catholic family, who make persistent attempts to remind her of the person she used to be. I wrote this book to explore an issue which has long bothered me, and more so recently:  how do you cope when someone close to you has substantially changed? The reason could be because they have had some physical or mental trauma, joined a cult, become an addict, or simply because they have adopted a new political or spiritual belief system. Of course, in the case of the latter, the grieved-for person can be annoyingly positive about the change; most of us have come across a new zealot, and have good reason to avoid ‘born-again Christians’, or ‘born-again anythings’. But whatever the reason for someone changing, that person is still alive, still looks pretty much the same, and yet is no longer the person you remember. In the case of Winnie Rigby, after practising Zen Buddhism for some years, she had an enlightening experience whilst on a mountain in Taiwan, which increased her resolve to further her practice. Since being forced back to the UK by her family, she feels alienated and out of touch with her old life; in fact neither her old neighbourhood nor her old acquaintances seem familiar, which is inconvenient, as people who insist they know her turn up with irritating frequency. Consequently, her only objective is to get back to Taiwan just as soon as she can figure out how to replace the funds that have mysteriously disappeared from her account – (on her instructions according to the Bank) – but which seem to have gone to a cause that sounds suspiciously close to her mother’s heart. Winnie’s refusal to return to her former persona or to traipse through pointless memories is challenged when an elderly man turns up on her doorstep, haunted by his dead father’s restless spirit, and insisting that the younger Winnie knew something about this late Mr Gadd. Although Winnie has no time for ghosts or superstition, when she is given proof that she did indeed write about Mr Gadd, she reluctantly agrees to try and find out why she wrote about a man who not only died years before she was born, but whose afterlife she seems to have recorded. But the more she remembers, the more the answers seem to lie in the East. In her search for the elusive...

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Clinging onto summer: Abi’s Neighbour

Posted by on Oct 8th, 2017 in Blog, Contemporary fiction, Contemporary Romantic Fiction, Fiction, Jenny Kane, Romance | Comments Off on Clinging onto summer: Abi’s Neighbour

With autumn beginning to take a firm grip, I thought it would be nice to share a little from my Cornish sunshine novel- Abi’s Neighbour!!   The sequel to my bestselling novel, Abi’s House, Abi’s Neighbour introduces new characters- some nice- and some who are going to take a little getting used to… Here’s the blurb to help you picture the scene… Abi Carter has finally found happiness. Living in her perfect tin miner’s cottage, she has good friends and a gorgeous boyfriend, Max. Life is good. But all that’s about to change when a new neighbour moves in next door. Cassandra Henley-Pinkerton represents everything Abi thought she’d escaped when she left London. Obnoxious and stuck-up, Cassandra hates living in Cornwall. Worst of all, it looks like she has her sights set on Max. But Cassandra has problems of her own. Not only is her wealthy married lawyer putting off joining her in their Cornish love nest, but now someone seems intent on sabotaging her business. Will Cassandra mellow enough to turn to Abi for help – or are they destined never to get along? Complete with sun, sea and a gorgeous Cornwall setting, Abi’s Neighbour is the PERFECT summer escape. (Abi’s Neighbour can be read as a standalone novel, or as a sequel to Abi’s House) *** Now all you need to imagine the sun warming your face, a glass of something chilled awaiting you in the fridge, and a business suited woman standing outside this house…and she’s not happy… Extract The untidy, clipboard-wielding woman started talking as soon as she climbed out of her Mini. ‘Hello, my name’s Maggie, and I’m from –’ Cassandra cut impatiently across the formalities. ‘Sennen Agents, obviously. It’s written across your car.’ ‘Oh, yes. So it is.’ Maggie paused, ‘Anyway, I’m sorry I’m late, I got stuck behind a tractor down the lane.’ She jingled a key ring in front of her. ‘I have your keys, Miss Pinkerton.’ ‘No, you don’t.’ ‘I don’t?’ The estate agent frowned, looking away from the woman that stood before her in expensive couture with crossed arms and a far from happy expression. Flicking through the papers on her clipboard, Maggie said, ‘I was instructed by a Mr Justin Smythe that you would be accepting the keys on his behalf?’ ‘I meant, no, my name is not Miss Pinkerton. It is Ms Henley-Pinkerton.’ ‘Oh. I see.’ Maggie refrained from further comment as she clutched the keys a little tighter. Determined to make sure the situation was clearly understood, Cassandra pulled her jacket on, turning herself back into the sharp-suited businesswoman she was. ‘In addition to your error regarding my name, there appears to have been a further mistake.’ ‘There has?’ ‘Mr Smythe has not purchased this property. He has merely rented it, with an additional agreement to sublet it as a holiday home. I am here for two months to make the place suitable.’ Cassandra ran a disdainful eye over the beautiful exterior stonework. ‘It would seem that my work is going to be well and truly cut out.’ ‘This is a much sought-after street, Ms HenleyPinkerton. And this particular property is in excellent period condition.’ Feeling defensive on behalf of the old miner’s cottage, Maggie bit her tongue and flicked through her paperwork faster. Extracting a copy...

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Interview with Sarah Dahl: Monk

Posted by on Oct 6th, 2017 in Blog, Fiction, Historical fiction, Interview | 3 comments

 I’m delighted to welcome Sarah Dahl back to my site to enjoy a cuppa and a chat about her latest historical romance (with spice); Monk. Why not grab a slice of cake and join is? What inspired you to write your book? It has never been clearer than in this case: “Monk” was created out of mild frustration and the question “What if?”. There’s this scene in the first series of History Channel’s Vikings where Ragnar brings home an attractive young monk, Athelstan, who makes the couple curious. They enter his room and ask him to join them in bed. The audience doesn’t get to know if that is a test of Ragnar’s, to check if the “new man in the house” will be a threat to his marriage. Or if they just want to have their own version of fun with the man of God who seems so stressed out by their love-making. We know the Vikings had a very relaxed attitude towards phyical aspects, including sex. The scenario is not too far-fetched. But: in the series, the monk shies away. The atmosphere is sizzling and tense, you literally hold your breath before he answers “no, I can’t” – although you see his eyes and body saying the opposite. That didn’t leave my mind. I wondered if the producers were shying away from his “yes” out of realistic thinking or just Hollywood-esk prudery. We couldn’t know then how the monk’s answer would affect the coming plotlines. But from that day I pondered the question “What if the monk had said yes? He wanted to. The temptation was too much, he was overwhelmed. He was close to a “yes”. But was it realistic? I thought: Heck, I can do this. I’ll write what would have happened, and make it just as sizzling … So I did my very own version of a monk being seduced by his Viking captors. Do you model any of your characters after people you know? In this case: see above. I bluntly admit to stealing the main characters’ basics from the series, then made them my own people in my own story and setting. I go very much deeper into their minds and world views. All three, Yngvarr, his wife Runa, and the monk Alistair, are very vivid and accessible on several levels. So concerning your question: Which Point of View do you prefer to write in and why? I went bold and brave with this one, and made it three points of view. Which is a first, for such a relatively short piece. This way, readers can dive into every character separately and feel with them, make it a tight and direct experience. Eliminate the guessing and questions. You can’t do that with TV-series’ characters, whose feelings and thoughts are guess-work after all. But in “Monk” I play with the three views and how the actions unfolding affect every one of the three – and ultimately change them. Yes, it’s carnal, but also: very emotional, a revelation, a turmoil, life-changing. All three of them hand themselves over to the situation and come out differently, not having anticipated what this “game” would do to them. So maybe I modelled my characters after what inspired me, but I very much made them my own material...

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Interview with Jon Hartless

Posted by on Oct 3rd, 2017 in Blog, Fiction, Interview, Jenny Kane | 5 comments

It’s interview time. Today Steampunk author Jon Hartless is here for a writer type chinwag  Why not grab yourself a cuppa, put your feet up for five minutes, and come and join us for a chat? What inspired you to write your book? It was a bit of a mental collision between different ideas, topics and real life. I’d known of the Bentley Boys for some time but only in the sense that I knew they were famous racing drivers of the 1920s. I did some research about the era, learning how most of the Bentley Boys were very rich playboys and I saw that the gulf between the rich and the poor could be encoded very neatly by using motor racing and car ownership. With the rich in cars and the poor on foot, you have a very clear demarcation between the two. I’d also seen on TV a wonderful car called Brutus, the engine of which came from an old 1920s airplane. The car was a big, brutal, black vehicle that was very difficult to drive, as shown on an old episode of Top Gear (obviously before Jeremy Clarkson developed his hobby of beating up members of the production crew for not having a hot meal for him on demand), wherein Clarkson had trouble on the track as the vehicle was quite skittish owing to the power. The final factor that came into play was chatting to someone I met at a Steampunk event at the Commandery in Worcester; she was involved in amateur dramatics and she was doing a Christmas pantomime which, in essence, was a Steampunk version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Unfortunately, I never saw it and so I know nothing else about it, but that left the vague image floating in my mind, bobbling about. And so, eventually, all these elements collided in my brain and there it was; a steampunk motor racing story, giving me many opportunities to examine inequality within society, as well as the roles we are expected to adopt and conform to by the status quo, all centring on the heroine and a huge Brutus-like car that exacts a terrible price on any who try to drive it. What type of research did you have to do for your book? I did a lot of background reading on the Bentley Boys and associated topics, such as the rise and fall of the original Bentley Motor, and on motor racing in general back in those very early days of the sport. Books included biographies, autobiographies, reminiscences and the like, some written almost at the time, some not done until years later, and I also picked up anything I could on motoring and that era (the 1920s) that I could find. And of course anything on the Victorian era helped, given that the Victorian epoch didn’t really end until the Great War, and you can argue it extended (in certain ways) even beyond that. Which Point of View do you prefer to write in and why? I prefer the third person omniscient, but my one digital publisher (who sells mostly in the United States) repeatedly warns all their authors against this as their feedback from the public demonstrated this is not a popular voice, for some reason. It seems that the...

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End of the month round up with Nell Peters

Posted by on Sep 30th, 2017 in Blog, Contemporary fiction, crime, Fiction | 10 comments

OK- I am in denial. It is not the end of September! It can’t be…except, it is… Over to Nell! Good grief! We’ve reached the end of September already – how did that happen? Anyway, let’s not waste any time as I’m sure you have better things to do, like giving your pet rhino a pedicure, or similar. Red-headed actress Rula Lenska was born seventy years ago today as Róża Maria Leopoldyna Łubieńska – wow, pity her poor teachers calling the register. And she must have had custom-made, extra-long name tags for her school uniform. The family claim membership of the Polish aristocracy, with her parents being a count and countess – I wonder how impressed the good folk of St Neots were by that, because that’s where Rula was born. Perfectly nice town though it is, St Neots doesn’t quite conjure the same mental image as Warsaw, Krakow, Gdansk or even Radomsko, does it? Early on in her career and certainly by the time she hit thirty, Lenska had renounced her countess title. She said at the time, ‘In England it doesn’t count, if you’ll excuse the pun.’ Oh, how very droll. However, a good few years afterwards in January 2006, when she signed up for Celebrity Big Brother, she justified her decision to take part with the words, ‘I’m a crazy Polish countess who likes a challenge’. Do make up your mind, dear. I’ve never seen CBB – a fact that horrified near-neighbour Peter, who is a designer on the show, when we were chatting at a party locally. Even I, though, knew about RL cavorting with MP George Galloway in a role-play task where he pretended to be a cat licking milk from her cupped hands, and Lenska stroked his ears and moustache. Eew … or perhaps mew. Apparently, she also managed to lock herself in the toilet during her time in the house, giving late singer Pete Burns the golden opportunity to quip, ‘Oh dear, what can the matter be, clapped-out actress stuck in the lavatory.’ How brutal – made me laugh when I read it, of course, but rather mean. I’m hanging my head in shame … really. My mother also managed to lock herself in the downstairs toilet, a few days before my dad’s funeral. I got a call from the Bluebird lunch carer saying Mum had been in there quite some time and seemed to have forgotten how to slide back the basic lock in order to get out. When Sally (said carer) tried to relay instructions through the door, my mother said she didn’t know what she was talking about and became abusive. So, Sally rang her office and some bright spark there told her to contact me. What sensible advice, when they were in Twickenham and I was at home in Norfolk – a buck expertly passed if ever there was one. Sally decided a chisel to jimmy the lock was the way to go and so I guided her through the idiosyncratic locked door system of the ground floor – each lock with ever more weirdo-shaped keys that need to be persuaded into action – out into the back garden and around the house to the potting shed. My father was always one for ‘we’ll get a man in’...

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13 years and counting: a rethink and a retreat

Posted by on Sep 26th, 2017 in Blog, Contemporary fiction, Contemporary Romantic Fiction, crime, Fiction, Historical fiction, Imagine, Interview, Jennifer Ash | 4 comments

Over the past few weeks I have been very busy rethinking how I run my writing life. I have been working as a professional author for 13 years this month- unlucky for some perhaps. I will be honest- it has felt pretty unlucky at times this year. A great many changes have assailed me over recent months, and it has taken some serious thought as to how to keep going – or even if I should keep going. However, thanks to my family, my incredible friends, a great deal of writerly advice, and an amazing weekend at the Scotswrite17 conference in Glasgow, I can now see a way forward- and normal service will be resumed very soon. When I say normal service, what I actually mean is normal-ish. I have decided that I will no longer be working 14 hour days , with only 10 days holiday a year, and only weekend mornings off work during the week. No more than 10 hours a day will be worked from now on (yes- I know- that won’t always happen- but my intentions are good), no work on a Saturday, and I will take at least 2 weeks off a yr. Luxury!!! I need to take more walks- have more adventures- see more people- and as a result- I will have more stories to write about later. As many of you know, I have recently started a new business with my lovely friend Alison Knight – this being an entrepreneur type is hard work, but very rewarding. Our creative writing workshop business, Imagine, has taken off in ways we never imagined (pun intended!) I never dreamt I’d be teaching dementia sufferers how to write stories- nor that I’d have to turn people away from my classes because the tickets were sold out and there was no more room to sit. I feel honoured to say the least. This change of focus, away from writing 3 novels a year, down to writing one and a half novels and teaching, has done me a lot of good already. And that is just the start of the changes afoot. Those of you who have kindly been following my work for some years, will know that my career began at Kay Jaybee (over 18’s erotica). For the time being, Kay Jaybee is having a writing break. All her old work is being re-edited, revamped and- over the next two years- will reappear looking all lovely and shiny, ready for a brand new readership. My Jennifer Ash side meanwhile, is beginning to gather pace. I am currently awaiting the republication of The Outlaw’s Ransom– and the brand new publication of The Winter Outlaw– watch this space…At the moment neither volume is available- but it won’t be long until they are. I am also doing some other work as Jennifer…but for now my lips are sealed on that.. So that leaves Jenny…All of Jenny’s books are still available- so if you fancy a Cornish romance or a coffee shop adventure, then I’m your girl! I am working on a new novel as Jenny- which is a little different…again I will simply tease you by saying, I’ll keep you informed… All these teasers…So what can I tell you? Well..Imagine is proud to present its first writing retreat! Fancy...

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