Monday, June 28, 2010

Giveaway and Author Interview: The Bridge of Peace

I cannot tell you how excited I have been to do this interview. Cindy Woodsmall is one of favorite authors and I am thrilled to share this interview and giveaway with you! Read on to find out more. : )

When Cindy Woodsmall’s first book, When the Heart Cries, released in 2006, it rocketed to amazing success, hitting the Christian best-seller list and becoming a finalist in the 2007 ECPA Christian Book Awards. Her second book in the Sisters of the Quilt Series hit the New York Times best-seller list at 34, and her third book hit number 13 on that list and also made the USA Today list. Best known for writing Amish fiction, Cindy lends an incredible authenticity to her work. Her connection with the Old Order Amish community has been featured on ABC Nightline and on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. Having several Amish friends, Cindy has researched their culture extensively, giving her books a wonderful flair of authenticity.


Cindy, thank you for taking the time to visit us today. I appreciate your taking the time to answer these questions and letting us get to know you better.
I’m so glad to be here. Thanks for inviting me!
1. How long did you write before you were published?

I began writing the Amish story of my heart in 1999. I went to my first writers’ conference in 2002. I had a lot to learn, so I began reading books on writing, attending conferences, and working with a writing mentor, Kathy Ide. Two years later I felt I was ready to turn in the first chapter to a few editors.

I received wonderful feedback on my writing, even a potential offer to put me under contract if I’d write anything except Amish fiction. At the time only Beverly Lewis was writing Amish stories in trade fiction, and editors weren’t sure the market would hold strong for a second Amish author. Besides, they didn’t like the idea of a new writer following in the footsteps of such an established author.

My books were quite different from anything on the market, including Beverly Lewis’s books, but that didn’t make enough difference to the editor who wanted to put me under contract.
I spent a few restless weeks deciding whether to follow the editor’s advice or stick to my Amish stories. It was a rough choice. It didn’t make sense for an unpublished writer to turn down the opportunity for a contract with a big publishing house. But after weeks of sleeplessness, I knew I had to continue with the story I’d written.

With that decision made, I made another—to pitch my story to every editor at every conference possible. Unfortunately, with one exception, the editors I spoke with were not interested in testing the market to see if it could support a second author writing Amish fiction.

In the spring of 2005, I submitted the first chapter of When the Heart Cries to an editor with WaterBrook Press (a division of Random House). The editor asked me to turn in a full manuscript. I did, it passed the committee, and I had my first contract. That book was released in the fall of 2006.

2. When you held that book in your hands, what was your first thought?
I would love to be able to tell you that I soared with elation. Many of my author friends danced around their homes and embraced the moment fully. But I didn’t even open the box. Hours later, when my husband came home, he opened it. He was excited and coaxed me into leaving my office to take a look at the book. I remember running my hands over the cool, smooth cover, and then returning to my office to work on book two. The deadline for the sequel was pressing in, and my energy and attention were funneled into that project. Looking back, I think I was scared that When the Heart Cries wouldn’t be enough of a success, so I brushed its importance under the rug—as if the only thing that really mattered was the next project.

3. What are you working on now?

Today, June 21, 2010, I mailed off the typeset pages for The Bridge of Peace, the second novel in my Ada’s House series. It’s now officially finished, and the next time I see it, it’ll be a book. It’s scheduled for release August 31. Book one, The Hope of Refuge, is a Christy Award finalist.

Here’s the summary of The Bridge of Peace:
Love and lies abound in Dry Lake, Pennsylvania.

Headstrong schoolteacher Lena Kauffman finds herself at the center of controversy in her Amish community when a young man in her classroom refuses to submit to her authority. Her friends and family rally around her, especially longtime friend Grey Graber. Things go from bad to worse when Grey’s wife, Elsie, becomes an accidental target in trouble meant for Lena. They must both find their way through their private pain in order to find peace and a brighter future.

If you’d like to read the first chapter, go to http://cindywoodsmall.com/bridge_hope-ch1.html

By Wednesday, I’ll finish writing Plain Wisdom. It’s a wonderfully rich nonfiction book that I’ve been blessed to write with my Old Order Amish friend Miriam Flaud. In it we share heartwarming, heartrending, and humorous stories from our lives. It’ll release in the spring of 2011.

Miriam dropped a package in the overnight mail to me this morning that contains her latest handwritten rewrites, so I’ll take those pages and type them into our master document. I’ll send that via e-mail to our editor this Wednesday.
After a business trip to Missouri starting Thursday, I’ll begin writing the third book in the Ada’s House series. I’m really looking forward to pounding that story out!
I wrote one novel a year for the first three, and then I pushed a little harder and wrote a novel and a novella that released in 2009. Now that our youngest child is independent with his newly acquired driver’s license, I’m again stepping up my writing goals. I have five new novels under contract, as well as two more novellas that are contracted but not yet written.

4. Where can readers find out more about your books?
I have a lot of information, as well as the first chapter to each book and an Amish-made quilt contest, on my Web site: http://www.cindywoodsmall.com/

5. What messages do you want to make clear to your readers?
That hope reaches beyond all reasonable boundaries and brings into existence that which nothing else can. Without insights or revelations, we are left with either legalism or fleeting emotionalism. Under the law, I fail. Under emotionalism, I fizzle. But when I open my spiritual eyes to life’s principles, those principles become a part of who I am. Then not only do I understand why I should take a stand, I’m more willing to take that stand regardless of what’s going on around me.

My goal is to write in a way that helps people see life from a perspective that renews their strength to keep pressing on and gives them refreshment in the true value of living.

6. Why did you choose this profession?
One of my earliest childhood memories is of my mother reading to me before bedtime. After she left the room, I reworked every story she’d read to me. If Cinderella had been the ugly one, how would that change the outcome? If the step-sisters had been the nice ones, how would that have affected the story? I hated when I became too sleepy to continue working on those ideas. That was the beginning of my love of thinking about plotlines and characterization. But I never considered a career in writing, even after I won several writing awards in high school.

As the years moved forward, stories continued to pound me, and I did everything I could to free myself of them—including whining to God to make them go away!

After many years of refusing to write, I worked through my reservations. One of the first things I did was attend an American Christian Fiction writers’ conference (http://www.acfw.com/ ). I took the time to learn how to get the story of my heart onto the written page. Then I went through the process of finding a publisher. It wasn’t easy, but I had peace the whole way, mainly because I would’ve been fine if I never became published. When I received my first contract, I prayed that enough books would sell that my publisher wouldn’t be disappointed. That was my only goal.

I realize now that part of my subconscious assumption that writing wasn’t for me came from not understanding myself. My heart wanted to pursue writing fiction, but the no-nonsense part of me claimed that the story ideas in my head were a waste of time and not worth pursuing.
There are a lot of roads in life, and we often take the wrong one, thinking it’s the right one. I’m very grateful that God kept directing me toward the “write” road.

Thank you for being with us today. Any final words for readers?
Thank you so much for inviting me! I’d like to share a few personal thoughts. I love words, always have. They enlighten. Encourage. Entertain. They can lift a heavy load or bury someone under a load. And they often do so whether we’re paying attention or not. Words come at us all the time through a lot of sources and they’re unavoidable.
Words bring everything we need in life: love that encourages and strengthens, understanding that gives us tools for living, communication between God and us, and between us and our family, friends, and coworkers. God spoke, and light came into existence. He gave names to each thing He created, starting with day and night. Light and dark.

Through our words, we have the power to bring light or dark into our world and the world of those around us. What words will you not say for your loved one’s sake? Which ones will you choose to use?

I don't think there is any doubt why Cindy has come to such great success! She writes in a way that draws the reader in, even with just a short interview. Thank you Cindy!

Now readers, here is your chance to enter to win, Cindy's upcoming book, The Bridge of Peace.

PLEASE LEAVE AN EMAIL ADDRESS! If I draw your name and there is no email, YOU WILL NOT WIN!
For extra entries:
~Be a follower
~Be a subscriber

And a NEW one:
~Subscribe to Cindy's newsletter HERE.

Contest is only open in the United States.

Contest is void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- Random.org. I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items of said prize.

Thanks for coming by to enter!

Contest closes on July 10th

115 comments:

  1. Please enter me! I'm a follower and a subscriber, and I subscribe to Cindy's newsletter.

    lubell1106(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great interview, Casey & Cindy! Cindy, I've recently purchased your first book after hearing about you for a long time. I loved hearing your thoughts on the power of words. I look forward to your nonfiction book, although I can't help but feel I wish the publisher could keep it in Miriam's handwriting.

    julesreffner(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the interview. I'd love to win Cindy's book

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm a google follower
    Thanks
    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm a subscriber
    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  6. subscribed to Cindy's newsletter also
    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I found Christian Fiction 2 months ago and really love the books. It is so nice to not have to skip or skim thru parts of the book I don't want to read. Thanks for your Christian writing. I love Amish related books as we get a glimpse of how these wonderful people live their life without the conviences in their home and farms we can't live without. They are really fabulous people and I admire them so much.

    Loved the interview and would love to win this wonderful book. Thanks for the opportunity to enter.

    I am GFC follower
    I am an email follower
    I am subscriber to Cindy's newsltr

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  8. I would love to win this book. I am a follower and subscriber. I also subscribe to Cindy's newsletter. Thank you!
    carlyberd[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I would love to win this book. Thanks for the chance.

    naburcaw@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am a follower.

    naburcaw@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am a subscriber.
    naburcaw@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'd love to read this book! Please enter me. I'm a follower.

    jennycohen104(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm so excited to read this book!
    Please enter me!

    Emreilly303@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm a follower!

    Emreilly303@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm a subscriber!

    Emreilly303@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I subscribed to Cindy's newsletter!!

    Emreilly303@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. This book looks awesome!
    Please enter me!!!

    Dreilly316@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm a follower!

    Dreilly316@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm a subscriber!!

    Dreilly316@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. I subscribed to Cindy's newsletter!

    Dreilly316@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. Please count me in! I loved the first series. I'm a subscriber in Google Reader and I subscribed to Cindy's newsletter.

    Cindy, I'm so glad you didn't give in to the first publisher, and you went with your heart to stay with the Amish story.

    quiltyreader(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  23. Loved the interview!! Please enter me in the giveaway - I would love to read Cindy's latest book.

    hspruitt {at} juno DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  24. I also am a follower of your blog via Bloglines. Thank!

    hspruitt {at} juno DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  25. I also signed up for Cindy's newsletter. Thanks!

    hspruitt {at} juno DoT com

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'd love to win this book.

    readingatthebeach(@)gmail(.)com

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'm a follower

    readingatthebeach(@)gmail(.)com

    ReplyDelete
  28. I also am a follower via Google Connect. Thanks!

    hspruitt {at} juno DoT com

    ReplyDelete
  29. I'm subscribed

    readingatthebeach(@)gmail(.)com

    ReplyDelete
  30. I subscribed to Cindy's newsletter

    readingatthebeach(@)gmail(.)com

    ReplyDelete
  31. I would love to win this I have read a few of Cindy's books and they are always great.
    trishbazin@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  32. I would love to win a book by Cindy, I love her books. They are so simple and careing and such a peaceful reading. Even with the twist and mysteries the way it is written doesn't doesn't get you all scarry and nervous. I want this book. Thanks for the chance to win. ybutler@oppcatv.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. I subscribe by e-mail to Writing for Christ. Thanks ybutler@oppcatv.com

    ReplyDelete
  34. Public Follower on Google Friend Connect. Thanks ybutler@oppcatv.com

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thanks for offering the book.
    I am a follower and subscriber of yours and subscribe to Cindy's newsletter.
    wsmarple/at/gmail/dot/com

    ReplyDelete
  36. Enter me please? :)

    I am a follower.

    I subscribed to her newsletter.

    pinkdaddysgirl@msn.com

    ReplyDelete
  37. Thanks for the wonderful interview, I love Cindy Woodsmall!

    Thanks for the chance to win.
    ~Lauri
    http://knitsandreads.blogspot.com
    l_meinhardt@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  38. I am a follower
    ~Lauri
    http://knitsandreads.blogspot.com
    l_meinhardt@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  39. I subscribe
    ~Lauri
    http://knitsandreads.blogspot.com
    l_meinhardt@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  40. I subscribe to Cindy's newsletter.
    ~Lauri
    http://knitsandreads.blogspot.com
    l_meinhardt@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  41. I'll admit that there aren't many Amish fiction books that I'll go out of my way to pick up but this series is terrific! I can't wait for The Bridge of Peace! Thank you so much Casey and Cindy for the terrific interview! :-)

    XOXO~ Renee
    steelergirl83(at)gmail(dot)com

    +1 I'm a follower
    +1 I'm a new subscriber to Cindy's newsletter.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I would absoutely love to win Cindy's new book. I love Amish fiction. Thank you for the opportunity!

    Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    (another Cindy W.)

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  43. Please enter me...I have her first book in this series...loved it.
    Thanks!!!
    jackie.smithATdishmailDOTnet

    ReplyDelete
  44. Casey, I subscribe to your blog via e mail.
    jackie.smithATdishmailDOTnet

    ReplyDelete
  45. I already subscribe to Cindy's newsletter.
    jackie.smithATdishmailDOTnet

    ReplyDelete
  46. would love to read Cindy's masterpiece...thanks for the chance :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  47. email subscriber :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  48. i receive Cindy's newsletters :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  49. Sounds like a wonderful book. Would love to read it. Thanks for the giveaway.
    Blessings,
    Trinity Rose

    wandaelaine at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  50. I follow your blog

    wandaelaine at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  51. I subscribe to your RSS feed

    wandaelaine at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  52. Please include me.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  53. I LOVE Cindy's books!!!

    Please include me in the contest.

    Doreen
    priviesandprims@yahoo.com

    www.PriviesAndPrimsBlog.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  54. I cannot wait to read this one! Please enter me!

    Blessings
    Michelle V
    michellevasquez[at]yahoo[dot]net

    ReplyDelete
  55. I am a follower.

    Blessings
    Michelle V
    michellevasquez[at]yahoo[dot]net

    ReplyDelete
  56. I am a subscriber.

    Blessings
    Michelle V
    michellevasquez[at]yahoo[dot]net

    ReplyDelete
  57. I subscribe to Cindy's newsletter.

    Blessings
    Michelle V
    michellevasquez[at]yahoo[dot]net

    ReplyDelete
  58. I have HOPE OF REFUGE in my Amish book collection and would love to have bk 2!! Thanks for the chance!

    Molly
    Mollydedwards AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  59. I am a follower!

    Mollydedwards AT yahoo dot Com

    ReplyDelete
  60. I am a subscriber to WforC!

    Mollydedwards AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  61. I am a subscriber of Cindy's newsletter!

    Mollydedwards AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  62. Please enter me and thanx for hosting this.

    estherym[at]yahoo[dot]com

    Esther

    ReplyDelete
  63. I am already following your blog for a while now.

    estherym[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  64. I also subscribe to your blog.

    estherym[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  65. I am now a subscriber of Cindy's newsletter.

    Thanx for hosting this.

    estherym[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  66. Please enter me I love Cindy's books


    mamat2730(at)charter(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  67. I am a follower


    mamat2730(at)charter(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  68. I have your button om my blog
    http://edna-myfavoritethings.blogspot.com





    mamat2730(at)charter(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  69. This sounds like a great book!

    I'm a follower, a subscriber, and I subscribed to Cindy's newsletter.

    krhmoseslake(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  70. HI! I am a follower, subscriber, and getting Cindy's newsletter. The book sounds great. Enter me please!

    latawniakintz(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  71. please enter me!
    i would love to get this book!
    i loved all of Cindy's other books.

    dymesich(at)juno(dot)com

    p.s. Carman sent me.

    ReplyDelete
  72. I love Cindy Woodsmall's books! She is such a talented writer! I would love to win this book!

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net


    P.S. Carmen sent me! :)

    ReplyDelete
  73. Follower

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

    ReplyDelete
  74. email subscriber

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

    ReplyDelete
  75. I have subscribed to Cindy's newsletter.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

    ReplyDelete
  76. Sounds good! Please enter me in, i'm a follower.
    randomness.is.awesome@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  77. Sounds like a great book! Would love to read it. Count me in on the giveaway.
    plhouston(at)bellsouth(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  78. Very interesting interview. I would love to read this book. Please enter me in the giveaway.

    Blessings,
    Jo
    ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  79. Cindy Woodsmall is also one of my favorite writers, Casey. How ironic that publishers weren't interested in adding another Amish writer back in 2002! I'm so glad Cindy followed God's guidance.

    I enjoyed the interview and would love to win The Bridge of Peace.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

    ReplyDelete
  80. I'm a follower of this blog.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

    ReplyDelete
  81. I also subscribe to this blog.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

    ReplyDelete
  82. And I subscribe to Cindy's newsletter.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

    ReplyDelete
  83. I came over here from Carmen's website. I subscribed to the newsletter. I look Cindy Woodsmall's books! Would love to be entered in the contest! mommiebethers@ameritech.net

    ReplyDelete
  84. Love Cindy Smallwood's book and would love to win one. Carmen said to say hi and that she sent me. tried joining your spot, don't know if I did this successfully.
    vrush729(at)aol(dot)com
    Virginia

    ReplyDelete
  85. I subscribed to Cindy's newsletter. Thanks for the extra entry. ybutler@oppcatv.com

    ReplyDelete
  86. I'm an email subscriber!

    Blessings,
    Sandee61

    Muzzley56[at]aol[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  87. I've loved Cindy's books from the very first book, and would love to win her newest book. It looks really good. The covers are always so nice too! I enjoyed the interview and comment about the book. Thank you!

    Blessings,
    Sandee61

    Muzzley56[at]aol[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  88. Please enter me in this giveaway - Thanks!

    seizethebookblog(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  89. I am a follower!

    seizethebookblog(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  90. please enter me :)
    june_spirit2628 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  91. I can see why there is a lot of interest in winning this book! I love your books...remind me some of Beverly Lewis...yours are just as wonderful!
    Thank You!

    alekee02[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  92. Please enter me in the drawing for "The Bridge Of Peace." Thank you.

    louann@carolina.rr.com

    ReplyDelete
  93. I am a follower.

    louann@carolina.rr.com

    ReplyDelete
  94. I am a subsriber.

    louann@carolina.rr.com

    ReplyDelete
  95. I subscribe to Cindy's newletter.

    louann@carolina.rr.com

    ReplyDelete
  96. I am a subscriber.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  97. I am a subscriber.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  98. I am a GFC follower.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  99. Please enter me. I am a follower!
    djkeoppel(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  100. I'd love to win. shondaet@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  101. Love your blog. I would love to win this book. Please enter me.
    scruggs3@nctc.com

    p.s. Carmen sent me.

    ReplyDelete
  102. I love to win.
    scruggs3@nctc.com
    p.s. Carmen sent me.

    ReplyDelete
  103. Looks good!
    please enter me!
    Carman sent me.

    dymesich(at)juno(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  104. Please enter me, Casey! I just read When the Soul Mends, and I loved it!!!

    I'm a follower. :)

    ~Amber

    stokes[dot]a[at]suddenlink[dot]net

    ReplyDelete
  105. Wow! I am totally encouraged by the responses, and I'm truly honored by your enthusiasm! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  106. I subscribe to Casey's newsletter. Please enter me.

    Blessings,
    Jo
    ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  107. I loved A Hope of Refuge and her sisters of the quilt series.

    Please enter me.

    I Subscribe with Firefox Live Bookmarks and follow with RSS Ticker in Firefox

    Also subscribe to Cindy's Newsletter forest_rose [at] yahoo [dot] com

    Melissa
    Blogging at http://bibliophilesretreat.com

    ReplyDelete
  108. Great review and giveaway!

    rbooth43(at)yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  109. I am a follower and email subscriber.
    Thanks!
    rbooth43(at)yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  110. Please include me. sound like a good read. Thanks
    dcf_beth at verizon dot net

    ReplyDelete
  111. I'm a follower.

    dcf_beth at verizon dot net

    ReplyDelete
  112. Sounds like a great book. Please accept my entry. Thanks!

    GFC follower
    email subscriber

    gevin13{at}gmail{dot}com

    ReplyDelete
  113. It sounds wonderful - thanks for the giveaway!
    winnieayala at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  114. I follow on GFC
    winnieayala at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for stopping by, I love to hear from those who traffic my blog! Have a wonderful day. :)

FTC Rules

According to new FTC rules I must let you, the reader know, that all views shared on this blog are strictly my own. Books to review are either provided for me by the author, publisher or ones I have purchased and I am under no obligation whatsoever to present anything, but my true opinion on any product. I receive no monetary compensation for anything written on this blog. Any giveaways on this blog are provided by the author/ publisher and I am not responsible for any views they express in their work or on this site. Giveaways are void were prohibited and chances of winnng are based on the number of applicants. A random winner is draw when a book is given away.

 
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