Monday, June 29, 2015


Would you become a mail-order bride?

Many of the western historical romances available are mail order bride stories. I enjoy them, but that’s because they’re fiction and I know they’ll have a happily-ever-after ending. In real life, that was not often the case.

The Civil War (what a misnomer!) decimated the male population, especially in the eastern part of the United States. Men who managed to survive often had lost their land, their homes were destroyed, and families scattered. Because they had no home to which they could return, many went west looking for land, gold, and adventure. That left too many women for the number of marriageable-aged men. No wonder women who wanted a home and children signed up as mail order brides.

Chris Enss has written several books on real mail order brides. The one I have is HEARTS WEST, fifteen true stories of women who ventured to marry a stranger rather than remain where they were. Many faced extenuating circumstances that meant they had no way to support themselves. Others lived in a home where there were too many mouths to feed and not enough income.

Some of the stories in HEARTS WEST end happily, some do not. Reading them is interesting because they are genuine. Like many authors, I write of mail order brides for whom life is more kind--at least by the end of the story.

One of these is TABITHA’S JOURNEY, one of the Stone Mountain Texas series. Tabitha is a mail order bride to avoid being forced to marry an odious man. She takes her friend’s place and sets out for Texas. The problem is, her prospective groom doesn’t appreciate being passed along without his permission.

This novella also appears in WILD WESTERN WOMEN RIDE AGAIN with novellas by Merry Farmer, Sylvia McDaniel, Callie Hutton, and Kirsten Osbourne. Ms Osbourne’s story is also a mail order bride—sort of.

Jacquie Rogers and I have mail order bride stories in our duet books MAIL-ORDER TANGLE. We are writing about sisters on another project due out the week after Christmas. Three other friends and I have a group release planned for October 1st. Also mail order brides.

Why are these stories so popular? I think it’s the “fish out of water” aspect of a woman striking out to a new setting and having to adjust to everything, including the man she plans to marry. I have to admit they are fun to write--work, but still fun. In addition, I enjoy reading mail order bride books.

I repeat, would you have become a mail order bride?

Friday, June 26, 2015


Thanks to those of you who purchased the first WILD WESTERN WOMEN box set last fall (that set is still available). The five of us in that box set enjoyed such success that we created another edition called WILD WESTERN WOMEN RIDE AGAIN for the same great price of 99 cents for five novellas. Even those like me who abhor math can figure out the price is less than 20 cents for each novella. The difference is that this time the box set is available only at Amazon.

Here are the novellas in WILD WESTERN WOMEN RIDE AGAIN:

USA Today Best Selling Author Kirsten Osbourne
Mail Order Mischief

When Elizabeth Miller agreed to manage a mail order bride agency eight years before, she'd had no idea that it would leave her lonely and isolated. She has secretly loved one man for almost a decade, and she is about to give up on marrying for love entirely. When she receives a letter from a man in Fort Worth looking for a bride, she considers becoming a mail order bride herself, because by doing so, she could be close to her sister. She doesn't want to be alone for the rest of her life.

Bernard Tandy agrees to work for Elizabeth after his life is shattered. As he slowly heals and picks up the pieces, he gets to know his beautiful employer. As the years go by, he realizes he is falling for her more and more, but he knows his place in life. When she insists on taking a trip to Fort Worth to check out a potential groom and see her sister, he knows he can't send her alone.  Will he be able to survive the long train ride to Fort Worth without letting his feelings show? Or will Elizabeth somehow convince him that they are meant to be? 

USA Today Best Selling Author Callie Hutton
Daniel’s Desire: In the Shadow of War (also available as a single title)

When Confederate soldier, Lt. Daniel McCoy makes his escape from a Union prison toward the end of the Civil War, his only thought is to get as far away from enemy territory as possible. But he doesn’t count on saving young widow Rosemarie Wilson’s life from an infected leg wound.  
Rosemarie has no use for Rebels soldiers, having lost everything, including her husband, the last time they came to her home. However, Daniel has not only saved her life, but is sticking around to help with the farm and her three young children until she recovers. 

With Union soldiers searching for him, every day that Daniel remains puts him in danger. Or is it the beautiful, feisty widow who has captured his heart the greater risk?

Best-selling Author Caroline Clemmons
Tabitha’s Journey (also available as a single title in the Stone Mountain series)

Would you become a mail-order bride?
Tabitha Masterson is certain whatever awaits her in Radford Crossing, Texas will be better than what her brother and that awful William have in mind for her in Boston. After her father’s death, her brother becomes a tyrant. She escapes to begin her new life in Texas, but trouble can’t be far behind. She believes if she’s married when trouble arrives, she’ll be safe. But her fiancé is reluctant to accept her as a substitute for the mail-order bride he’d courted.

Bear Baldwin is crushed when he receives a wire notifying him that the woman with whom he has corresponded for almost a year has passed him off to her friend. Do the two women believe he’s like an old shirt to be handed down? His mother urges him to give the substitute fiancée a chance, but his pride is stung and he hasn’t decided.

Best-selling Author Sylvia McDaniel
Scandalous Suffragette Brides: Abigail (launches a great new series)

Women Wanted – Feisty, Head Strong Women Need Not Apply
In New Hope, Texas women like children, are to be seen and not heard. Their only job in life is to marry, procreate and be a loyal, obedient wife. Thus the shortage of available women. Until, Abigail Vanderhooten is unexpectedly called home, her head filled with ideas of changing the world where a woman can own a business and have a bank account. This little rebel is determined to bring the town’s laws into the nineteenth century, even if it means sacrificing her reputation.

Jack Turner likes being the mayor in a small, quiet western town where the biggest rabble rousers are cowboys on Saturday night. Everything is about to change when Abigail Vanderhooten, a tiny sprite of a woman returns to town, ready to take on the local laws. While trying to keep the town from splitting apart, he’s surprised how her strong spirit captivates him. And he’s shocked when she manages to worm her way into his bachelor heart, with her controversial ideas of women earning a living the same as a man.

With a woman’s revolution brewing, will Jack be forced to run her out of town, before he has a chance to convey how she’s changed him. Or will Abigail give up on New Hope, Texas and return to Boston?

Best-selling Author Merry Farmer
Trail Blaze

Darcy Howsam has one last chance to be a respectable woman and to have a secure life: traveling along the Oregon Trail to become a mail-order bride for a miner in California. But when the man who paid her way to meet him at Ft. Laramie takes one look at her and rejects her, demanding his money back, Darcy finds herself alone and desperate…. That is, until handsome stranger, Gregory Quinlan comes along. Greg isn’t looking for a wife, but love has other plans.

These are fun stories, some with action and danger. Don't miss out on this good reading box set. Want to grab your copy? Here’s that link again at Amazon.

 Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Friends and I met this week to have what we call our “techie day” where we discuss new trends in marketing. 

Readers not associated with writing and publishing would be surprised to learn how much time and expense authors spend marketing and choosing and buying covers as well as hiring editors, formatters and other people to help with publishing each release. If you think $3.99 or $4.99 is too much to pay for an e-book, please consider how much time and effort goes into producing that book—to say nothing of the hours and hours of writing.

Since you’re reading this, maybe I’m preaching to the choir. One of the friends at the marketing meeting this week had an email from a reader accusing her of “milking” her readers by charging $3.99 for the second book in a series after the first was free. I have read this book series and, in this case, readers received a genuine bargain because the writing is superb, the book is professionally edited, has a professional cover, and is professionally formatted and uploaded to all sites.

At the same time, I recently gulped when I had to pay $12.98 for an e-book version of a selection for the book club to which I belong. (While I did read the book before the meeting, it turned out I didn’t even like the story or the author’s voice.) 

So why would someone complain about paying $3.99? I think the reason is that some people only like free books and others never pay over $ .99 for a book.

My questions for you are:
1)      How much will you pay for a book from an author whose work you enjoy?
2)      How much is too much for an e-book?
3)      What’s the most you’ve ever paid for an e-book?
4)      How much will you pay for an author whose work you’ve never read?

Let me hear from you.

By the way, if you haven’t picked up your copy of O’NEILL’S TEXAS BRIDE, McClintocks book two, you can find it at most online vendors including Amazon.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, June 22, 2015


Hi There – My Name is Alice
A Guest Blog Post by Alice Orr

I grew up in Northern New York State twenty-five miles from the Canadian border. I thought everybody had snow fall several feet at a time in winter and a field of flowers my grandmother called an English garden in summer.

I was an only child until I was nine but I didn’t mind because I had Grandma who told stories and baked biscuits. And after she was gone I had a flashlight and books to read under the covers until long past bedtime.

When siblings finally did come they were like beings from another solar system. I was waiting for puberty and they were waiting to have their diapers changed. I might have been lonely if not for my imagination which was heavily populated and very active all of the time.

I was mostly with adults until I went to school and that made me sort of an odd bird there. My kindergarten teacher slapped my hand when she caught me writing on the blackboard. I didn’t care because writing was about words and knowing words got me to books where my imagination played more joyously than ever.

That happened about the same time I was suddenly old enough to go back outside after dinner. I’d play Kick the Can with the neighbor kids until an adult voice hollered from one of the porches for us to stop the clatter. Then we’d play Hide and Seek until other adult voices called us home.

We lived on a one-block street but that one block was a world for me. I knew every tree and every bump in the sidewalk and every person in every house. It was a small world but a cozy one and I already knew I loved feeling cozy.

Alice and Jonathan's wedding photo
That’s why in my present-day life my favorite way to relax after an intense day of laboring in the story fields of my imagination is to hang out with my husband Jonathan. We get cozy together on top of the comforter he calls our blue beach. We chat and laugh and snack and binge watch TV.

We tell each other about our work sometimes but mostly we talk about family or what’s on the news or make private jokes that never fail to set us chuckling. We reminisce too. We’ve been with each other forty-three years so we share lots of memories – like the beautiful one in this photo of our hippie-style wedding day.

On Sunday we go to church a few blocks from our apartment and afterward we brunch at someplace or other in the neighborhood. I have a Bellini and Jonathan has a Mimosa and we talk some more because a long marriage is really a long conversation.

My favorite quotation is “Fall down seven times. Get up eight.” Because I know that when falling down and getting up again grow tiring – as they inevitably will – you can always take a welcome rest on a blue beach.


Alice’s new novel is A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book 2. It launches today along with summer and is available at This is a good story to enjoy under the covers or on a blue beach.

Friday, June 19, 2015

JUSTUS ROUX #INTERVIEW #NewRelease #GuiltyTour @Justus_Roux

Readers, today please welcome Justus Roux to the blog. She agreed to an interview before I relate her new release, a romantic suspense titled GUILTY PLEASURE.

Caroline: Tell readers something about where you grew up and about yourself.

Justus: I grew up in Detroit, Michigan then moved down to Adrian area. Presently I’m making plans to move to Phoenix AZ, hopefully later on this year. Now that my kids are all grown up I really would like a change of scenery. I have a brother and a sister. I’m been married to my husband for 29 years. We have three children. My oldest son lives in Kansas. My youngest son is going to college and lives with us. And my daughter goes to school in Honolulu, Hawaii.
I was pretty much a bookworm in school, but I was into music as well. I have never been considered a jock. Sports have never been my thing.

Caroline: Who are your favorite authors and favorite genres?

Justus: I love romance books. I read from a wide variety of authors, so it’s hard to pick favorites.

Caroline: What’s your favorite way to relax and recharge?

Justus: I love listening to music; it always relaxing me. I read. I watch my favorite T.V. shows. Play the occasional video game. My husband and I go to auctions.  As far as hobbies go I love to create odd artwork and I’m big on the steampunk thing (I gave this hobby to one my characters).

Caroline: Do you have a favorite quote that sums up how you feel about life?

Justus: “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

Caroline: I love that quote! How long have you been writing?

Justus: This side of forever, just kidding. I’ve been writing for at least twenty years.

Caroline: Sometimes it does seem like forever, doesn’t it? Where do you prefer to write? Do you need quiet, music, solitude? PC or laptop?

Justus: I have my own office to write in. This is my space. I can write through pretty much anything, though I do prefer quiet.  I work on a PC, my poor wrists would take a beating if I worked on a laptop.

Caroline: I agree and love being in my little office. Are you a plotter or a panzer?

Justus: When I write a novel I’m a plotter, but for a short story I’m a panzer.

Caroline: Do you use real events or persons in your stories or as an inspiration for stories?

Justus: I use elements of real events or people for inspiration. I think all writers do this to one degree or another. What you experience can’t help but to influence what you write.

Caroline: So true. Do you set daily writing goals? Word count? Number of chapters? Do you get a chance to write every day?

Justus: I write six days a week. I always have at least one day where I spend the entire day with my husband and family.  I write about 10 pages a day, more if story is really flowing. The most I have written in a single day was 30 pages.

Caroline: Sounds like a dedicated professional. What do you hope your writing brings to readers?

Justus: Enjoyment and escape.

Caroline: What long-term plans do you have for your career?

Justus: I love what I do and I will keep writing until I can’t anymore. My long term plan is to just keep writing and see where it leads. I would like to try my hand at several different genres.
My dream is get published by one of the big publishing houses and become number one on the New York bestseller list, but isn’t this the dream of every writer.

Caroline: I agree that I love what I do and will until I can’t write anymore. I’ve been with a NY house and prefer self-published, but I would love to make NYTimes list. Would you like to tell us what you’re working on now?

Justus: I’m currently working on “Say Love” which is the 31st book in my Master Series.

Caroline: You do write a wide range. What advice would you give to unpublished authors?

Justus: Don’t ever give up. Rejection will happen. Bad reviews will happen. Just keep writing and perfecting your craft. If writing is what you truly enjoy, don’t ever give up.

Caroline: Good advice. Share a fun fact readers wouldn’t know about you.

Justus: I love steampunk artwork, jewelry, etc. I am trying my hand at creating some steampunk artwork.

Caroline: That sounds like fun. Share something about you that would surprise or shock readers.

Justus: I’m an open book. I pretty much put all out there.

Caroline: I know you write several series. Is GUILTY PLEASURE part of a series?

Justus: GUILTY PLEASURE is a single title book.

Caroline: Can you give readers a blurb about GUILTY PLEASURE?

Justus: Nicole frees herself of an abusive relationship and makes a fresh start in Chicago. Her new roommate Monica makes her feel at home right away, and Nicole is excited about starting her career as a paralegal. She meets the handsome defense lawyer Michael Lyons, whom she will be working with. Their attraction is immediate and intense, and she finds herself falling in love with her new boss.

Just as it seems Nicole’s life is finally going right, a series of brutal murders plague the Chicago area. As the number of these murders escalates all the evidence begins to point to Nicole’s new friend Adam Matthews or her lover Michael Lyons. She refuses to believe that either could possibly be capable of committing these brutal murders. Yet, by closing her eyes to this possibility, Nicole could be making a deadly mistake.

Caroline: Intriguing. How about an excerpt from GUILTY PLEASURE?

Justus: Nicole felt like her stomach was in knots.  She shouldn’t be this nervous, hell she knew what she was doing. She graduated the top of her class. Yet, her underlying insecurity always crept in.
She went up to the receptionist’s desk. She tried to picture what Mr. Lyons must look like. She pictured a middle-aged man, with maybe a bit of a beer belly, balding, but had a look of confidence about him.
“Hello, I’m Nicole Fisher, I’m Mr. Lyons’ new paralegal.”
“Hello Nicole, I’m Emily, Mr. Lyons is expecting you. Please follow me.” Emily led Nicole down the hall. “This will be your office.” She gestured to the room off to the side.  She headed to the room down the hall. She knocked once then entered.
“Mr. Lyons, Nicole Fisher, your new paralegal is here.”
“Thank you, Emily.”
Nicole was almost speechless when the chair turned around and the most gorgeous man she had ever seen was sitting there. He was nothing like she pictured. He had to be in his mid-thirties, his dark eyes were mesmerizing. His dark hair emphasized those dark eyes. When he stood, she noticed he certainly filled out a suit well. 
“Is it Mrs. or Ms. Fisher?”
“Ms. Fisher, but you can call me Nicole.”
He smiled warmly at her. Almost taking her breath away.
“Well then, you can call me, Michael. I was very impressed by your academic record. And you certainly impressed our human resource gal. So welcome aboard. I will give you your first case to begin researching for me. It’s a pretty easy case. The murder weapon was found in his possession, etc. What I want to try to do is lessen this asshole’s sentence.”
“Excuse me…”
“Not everyone who comes through these doors is innocent, but they have paid good money for me to take the sting out of their punishment. I would prefer that all of them were innocent, but being a defense lawyer you can’t always be doing the righteous thing. I hope this isn’t a problem for you, Nicole.”
“Of course not, Sir. Everyone is entitled to a fair trial.”
“Exactly. I wanted to start you off with something a little easy at first. Let you get your feet wet. Here let me show you to your office.”
She followed Michael to her office. Damn, this man smelt wonderful. She quickly pulled herself together when they entered her office. She had to be professional and not act like some love sick teenager.
She had to admit that her office was pretty nice. It, of course, was nowhere as nice as his, nor did she expect it to be.
“I had Emily put the case file on your desk. We have an extensive legal file database in the computer. If you need help with any of that Emily will be happy to show you. I have to leave for an important meeting, but I will be happy to see what you come up with tomorrow. Like I said, this case is pretty cut and dry. It was nice meeting you, Nicole. I hope we work well together.”
“I’m sure we will, Sir.”

Caroline: Where can readers find GUILTY PLEASURE?  

Also available on Itunes

Caroline: How can readers learn more about you?

Justus: My websites

JustusRoux                  JustusRouxMasterSeries

Caroline: Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about you?

Justus: I love to hear from readers, you can email at

Caroline: Thanks, Justus, for sharing with our readers. I’ll finish up with the info provided by Masquerade Tours: You can follow the tour at:

Title: Guilty Pleasure
Author: Justus Roux

Publication Date: May 10, 2015
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Nicole frees herself of an abusive relationship and makes a fresh start in Chicago. Her new roommate Monica makes her feel at home right away, and Nicole is excited about starting her career as a paralegal. She meets the handsome defense lawyer Michael Lyons, whom she will be working with. Their attraction is immediate and intense, and she finds herself falling in love with her new boss.

Just as it seems Nicole’s life is finally going right, a series of brutal murders plague the Chicago area. As the number of these murders escalates all the evidence begins to point to Nicole’s new friend Adam Matthews or her lover Michael Lyons. She refuses to believe that either could possibly be capable of committing these brutal murders. Yet, by closing her eyes to this possibility, Nicole could be making a deadly mistake.



Justus Roux’s long running “Master Series”, which she affectionately calls her BDSM drama, has won the hearts of many readers. She just released the 30th book in the series and plans to write several more books for the series. Her “Dom/sub trilogy”, and “Master of My Heart Series”, plus several single titled books have earned her several outstanding reviews. She has dabbled in the paranormal and fantasy realm with her “Barbarians of Malka series”, “Demon hunter Series”, as well as several single titled novels. Justus’ loves to explore new things, adores music and art, and loves to play the occasional video game and enjoys a good poker game as well.

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Giveaway: There is a giveaway for this tour. $50 Amazon Gift Card; One (1) signed print copy of Guilty Pleasure. Ends 6/26. The code is provided below.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Hidden Identities

Sweet & Sassy Anthology: HIDDEN IDENTITIES

Check the Rafflecopter for the tour giveaway!

Readers will be delighted with nine sweet, contemporary romance novelettes in Sweet & Sassy: HIDDEN IDENTITIES. In this charming anthology, you will fall in love again and again.

Hidden Identities

THE BEST OF ME by Paige Timothy
Becky is a cancer survivor who has been blogging about her journey. She's shocked to find that Josh, her one-time love and now-famous oncologist, is the main speaker at the symposium she’s been asked to attend. Has fate given them a second chance at a future together, or just a shot at miserably ever after?

When Elena sees Chase for the first time, his turquoise eyes and tousled blond hair convince her that she might believe in insta-love. Just in time, her brain takes over, reminding her that her business is in trouble, making the future uncertain—not a good time for love. But being with Chase is as easy as following her heart, until she finds he has a secret big enough to break it.

FIRST LOVE, SECOND CHOICE by Lindzee Armstrong
When wedding planner Keslee gets asked on a date by her long-lost high school crush, Bryce, everything should be perfect. But Bryce mistakes Keslee for her deceased twin sister, Jadyn. And she doesn’t correct him. Now they’re unexpectedly working together. Keslee knows the charade can’t last much longer, and fears she’ll lose Bryce forever when she tells him the truth.

HACKED by Stephanie Connelley Worlton
NSA data analyst Samantha Perry never being an introverted computer geek could get dangerous until she digs a little too deep into a greedy blackhat’s business, forcing her to change her identity and relocate. As She risks everything to try to close the case, but may end up putting a nail in her own casket. And if she doesn’t, Seth, her hot new neighbor, just might.

First Son Daxon Hayward has refused a secret service detail since the day his father was elected President. This time the threat against Daxon is very real, and his father plants an undercover agent to protect him, Lorelei Davis who is capable and beautiful. She’s received her assignment: Protect the First Son, don’t let him know she is an agent, and don’t fall in love.

CLOSING TIME by Candice N. Toone
Chef Will Morrison can’t help himself after watching Kelsey sit alone at a table waiting for a blind date. When he steps in to save her from being stood up, he expects to exchange dull first-date pleasantries, but finds himself drawn in by her quick wit and spunk. Will hears himself confirming plans for a second date only to realize that she still believes he’s someone else.

SINK OR SWIM by Laura D. Bastian
Shelly can’t believe she’s fallen for another cheater. The last few weeks at the gym swimming next to Brandon had almost convinced her she could date again. Brandon’s excited to be back home with a career that can finally hold a candle to his twin brother’s success. When Shelly suddenly turns cold, Brandon can’t help wondering if it has something to do with his brother.

WRITE AND WRONG by Kaye P. Clark
Jon Patterson is burned out. After publishing a series of blockbuster novels under his pen name, he’s hit a brick wall. He escapes to a rural town in Idaho where he meets Abby, the local librarian. She ignites his imagination and quickens his heart. Without the pressure of his pen name, Jon is free to be himself. But will he lose Abby when she learns his secret?

UNDERCOVER LOVER by James C. Duckett
Agent Johnny Anderson is struggling with an investigation that could make or break his career. However, it’s love at first sight when beautiful and witty Hannah moves into the neighborhood. Will Johnny lose Hannah when she finds out his cover story is a façade? As things get hotter between them, his love for her might endanger her life.
99 cents
Purchase on AMAZON

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Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 6/25/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Monday, June 15, 2015


Barbara Hinske will award a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter.


Mayor Maggie Martin is knee-deep in the financial problems facing Westbury. The investigation into the fraud and embezzlement that created these problems is going nowhere and she’s on the hot seat to produce results. The bad guys are always one step ahead, with bribes and blackmail at their disposal. Her late husband’s mistress also has an ace to play against Frank Haynes. But will he slip through the net once again?

Meanwhile, Rosemont’s attic gives up its secrets; some welcome, some not. Will Frank Haynes establish his claim to Rosemont?

Barbara Hinske, Author
Barbara Hinske is a practicing attorney in Phoenix, Arizona. She has two grown children with her exceedingly kind and good second husband, who died of cancer in 2006. Lucky in love, Barb married another exceptional man and father of two in 2010, and they live in their own Rosemont with two adorable and spoiled dogs.
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Barbara Hinske will award a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter.

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