Monday, August 10, 2015

The Annex Mail-Order Brides Series by Elaine Manders ends August 17 #bookgiveaway


 Please welcome Elaine Manders to my blog. Read on down to find out how to be entered to win ALL THREE ebooks of Elaine's series, Annex Mail-Order Brides.

A Woman’s Place in History

Thank you for this opportunity to share a subject near to my heart, improving the status of women in the world. Oh, I know opportunities have never been greater in the Western world, but that hasn’t always been the case, and as with the advancement of all oppressed people, there were trail-blazers.

I’ve been writing historical romance for over twenty years, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized I write about the exceptional women of history, those who step outside society’s norm in their relationships, in their goals, in their pursuit of love.

Have you ever wondered why women are so poorly represented in the great achievements in history? Some might say—and rightly so—there is no greater achievement than to bear and nurture a child. But what of those women who never marry? Or live beyond child-bearing years? Or feel God has another purpose for them?

Cultural norms surely have played a role in keeping a woman in her place. And still do. Property laws and lack of education are the greatest handicaps to women’s equality.

In the American Northeast during the late 19th century, culture was shifting. Nowhere was this more evident than in women’s changing role. The suffragist sought equality through the vote, but other minds knew equal education was the only way to truly elevate any suppressed people.

Then, as now, women didn’t want to give up love for an equal place in society.

Annex Mail-Order Brides, my debut novella series, follows three strong, capable women who go to the best college of the day for various reasons, but seek love through the mail. The characters are representative of every woman, from the one who wants nothing more than to be a wife and mother (Adela’s Prairie Suitor), to the one who wants to use her extraordinary talent to make a name for herself (Ramee’s Fugitive Cowboy), to the one who wants to build a business empire (Prudie’s Mountain Man).

Times were changing in the late 1800s. In 1879, women had the opportunity to attend Harvard College for the first time. The women students didn’t attend classes with the men, but were relegated to a separate building called the Annex.


In many areas of the world, women are still considered the property of men and have few rights in society. Education is still considered wasted on females. In western civilized countries, however, the opportunities have never been greater for women. In fact, American women earned 58 percent of the bachelor degrees and 60 percent of the master degrees in colleges last year. But some believe these new opportunities have exacted a price on the American family.

Do you think the role of women was better in the United States during the 1880s or today? Leave your comment for a chance to win all three of the Annex Mail-Order Brides novellas.


                                                         
Adela’s Prairie Suitor

In 1881, the women of the Harvard Annex must prove women are as smart as men, but after one season, Adela Mason knows she doesn’t fit in with elite society. All she really wants is a husband—even if she has to pick one through the mail. After corresponding with Byron Calhoun, a Kansas farmer, for several months, she’s convinced he’s the man God has chosen for her. She accepts his invitation to visit the farm so he can “court her properly,” but before she arrives at her destination, she learns Byron already has a fianc√©. What else has he failed to tell her?

 







Ramee’s Fugitive Cowboy

Ramee Abbott gains acclaim as a dress designer and attracts the interest of a textile tycoon she foolishly agrees to marry. She doesn’t recognize her dilemma until he sells her designs as his own and gives her an ultimatum—marry him immediately and move to New York or face social ruin. Her only choice is to find another man to marry and quickly.

Although Josh Volker has recently turned his life around and become a Christian, a bad reputation hounds him. He hardly dares hope any decent woman will marry him, least of all one as well-to-do as Ramee. But will she stay when she learns the truth about his past?







Prudie’s Mountain Man

Harvard Annex graduate, Prudie Walsh, has lost her home and family merchandising business. She answers a mail-order bride ad for one reason—Erich Stafford’s dry-goods store.

Scarred by a cougar attack as a child, Erich has spent his entire adult life living as a hermit in the Wyoming mountains. After inheriting a dry-goods store in the nearby frontier town, he leaves his mountain cabin and eagerly awaits his mail-order bride, a woman who will be the perfect helpmate in his new business. He soon realizes the beautiful, ambitious Prudie carries scars of her own. It’ll take a lot of patience and faith to turn their business arrangement into a real marriage.



About Elaine Manders:

Elaine Manders writes historical romance to inspire and intrigue. She began her writing journey with feature articles for a Christian newspaper and turned to fiction in 1992. Her debut novella series, The Annex Mail-Order Brides, was published July 8, 2015, and serves as prequels to her long historical novel series, Under Cerulean Skies, scheduled for release in December. Her greatest joy is to create endearing characters and intriguing plots with humor and faith woven throughout, and her fondest hope is that these books will entertain the reader and bring glory to God. She lives in central Georgia with the love of her life, her husband, Robert.

Contacts
https://twitter.com/ehmanders
https://www.facebook.com/elaine.manders.35
website: elainemanders.com

57 comments:

  1. If women were treated with respect the 1800 women's lifestyle wouldn't be so bad. But not having any rights as women gives many men the opportunity to treat women any way to wanted to, many times almost as slaves. So I think the roll of women today is better. And though I think that, it is sad that most moms are forced to work outside the home instead of raising their children. Wish there was a happy medium here, one that would give more moms the opportunity to stay at home!
    And i

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    1. Sorry I forgot to leave my name!
      Blessings. Joy
      ibjoy1953(at)yahoo.com

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    2. Oh, I love that handle, splashesofjoy. I'm with you. Even with all the problems we have today, I prefer the opportunities. Thank you for stopping by.

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    3. Hey Joy! Thanks for stopping by. It's true that women didn't have the opportunities they have today, and I'm sure some men did treat them like slaves. But even today there are men who do the same. What I like about the 19th century is that a lot of men treated women as if they were special. My husband's father was in his 70's when my husband. Dad was born in the 1800's. And as a 16 year old girl that his son brought home, Dad (he was sick with cancer and in his 90's) would stand up when I walked into the room. It was such an eye opening and special experience for me. It always made me feel special. So there were some perks to being a woman. :o)

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  2. In today's economy, very few women have the freedom to be stay-at-home mothers. Women doing the same job work for less than their male coworkers. The more things change, the more they stay the same!
    Thank you for an interesting post.
    Blessings,
    Connie
    cps1950 (at)gmail (dot) com

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    1. Hi Connie, it's true more women have to work outside the home, but in truth, women have always worn more than one hat. Those farm women of the 19th century worked sunup until sundown with less time to spend with their children than the working woman of today. Of course, back then, the children had their own chores. Thanks for your comment.

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    2. Hey Connie! Women did seem to have to work harder in many ways. I think a lot depends on what station in life they were. Life could really be hard. I think men and women today wouldn't be able to survive what those people did. They were strong, hardy people!

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  3. I am a stay at home mother of 12 children , 11 of whom still live at home. They range in age from 23, next month to my sweet little 4 year old daughter. There are 7 sons and 5 daughters. while I do consider them my greatest joyand accomplishments and I know I have been so blessed, I completely know this is not for everyone ! I give all the credit in the world to the women who work outside the home making a better world for all us us. The women who have to work 2 jobs because they are single moms, the women who are making medical advances for us,the women who go to other less fortunate countries and make a big difference there,the teachers,the women who do dangerous jobs that where at one time considered only male jobs I thank all these women and so many more for aming such a big difference in this life. As the old commercial used to say, You've Come A Long Way Baby ! And it's so true ! Thank you for the wonderful post ! I would love to have a chance to read these books, these sound marvelous . I love mail order bride storiesand reading is my favorite thing to do, It was wonderful visiting your post today Debbie and " meeting" Elaine Manders. I am a feedburner follower as well .

    Deanne Patterson
    Cnnamongirl at aol dot com

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    1. WOW!!! 12 children! You have my greatest respect. I thought 4 was a lot. LOL. You must be a very busy lady! I too have been a stay at home mom. When my last 2 got into high school and didn't need my help so much in school, I started my career of writing. It was a long time coming but oh so worth it.

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  4. Wow, Deanne, you wrote it better than I did. We owe the working women of the world a debt of gratitude. I've always liked reading mail order bride stories myself. I think that's why I wrote the series.

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  5. I think it was a harder life then but just harder in a different way now.. Then women had their place but now our place can be pretty much where we want it to be. I'd enjoy reading your books!
    Deanna, dkstevensne(at) outlookD otCoM

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    1. Good to see you here, Deanna. Women did have it harder, but I'm not sure we're happier with all the conveniences. Then again, on days like this with the temperature hitting 100 degrees, I don't know how they got along without AC, wearing those long dresses.

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    2. I agree, Deanna. I think women are under a lot more stress than back then. They have to take on other responsibilities. I'm always saying our modern conveniences give us more time but because of it we feel we must press more things into our day.

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  6. I am glad that women now have the freedom to do what they want to do. However, it seems like the freedom to stay at home has almost been taken away.
    Thank you for the chance to win a copy of your books. I love mail order bride stories.
    Susan
    susanmsj at msn dot com

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    1. Hi Susan, thanks for dropping in. Another thing that's changed is women are delaying marriage. My granddaughter who's in highschool, plans to be a doctor and says she won't get married until she starts her practice. I don't know how you can plan falling in love.

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    2. Hey Susan, My husband and I talk about that all the time. It is so hard for young people to make a living without 2 incomes. It's so sad that the choice has been taken away from couples.

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  7. Thank you for the interesting interview. I think it has always been hard. women have always contributed to the workforce, in other eras it was on ranches, farms, and the endless housework. Granted we are better educated now, but most still have to manage homes, farms or ranches and families and work outside the home.
    Thank you for the giveaway. I also love to read about mail order brides.
    Debbie I follow your blog by speed burner
    mcnuttjem0(AT)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Welcome Jackie. I'm so lucky with that housework thing. My husband and I share chores, inside and outside the house. But we're both retired.

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    2. Thanks for being a follower, Jackie. And yes, women have ALWAYS worked! They just didn't always get paid for it. Even today stay at home moms work, and work hard. Just without a paycheck.

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  8. I think that the time period designates a different role for women. Historically women rarely worked outside of the home and most women were married with children, there were not as many jobs for anyone, not only women. The jobs for most men and women were at/in the home. If a woman worked most of the time it was in a business owned by her and her husband. There were businesses owned by widows but rarely single women.

    Today we have more single women, single mothers, divorced women, as well as married women and widows. The need a way to support themselves and their families. More women work outside the home because of the need that we have put on ourselves. We think we need others to see our prosperity by the things we want, not by the things we need.

    So I think the role of women changes with time, whether one is better than the other that would depend on each woman and if they wanted to do more, as in the past, or if they'd rather be a stay at home wife, whether there are kids or not, as in today's time. A good debatable subject, lol.

    wfnren at aol dot com

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    1. Hi Wendy. I so enjoy researching the different time periods of history. One other factor was income. The wealthy women of yesterday were really household managers with dozens of servants. I can't help thinking they were sometimes bored with nothing to do.

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    2. Hey Wendy. You said it well. It depends on each woman and what she wants in her life. Elaine, I've read that managing the households was a lot of work. I think there was still things they did themselves like plan the meals and plan parties.

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  9. I love all kinds of historical fiction. Really loved Adela's Prairie Suitor and would love to have copies of the others. Nice to read about strong women making their mark regarless of their situations!

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    1. Hey Robin! Thanks for coming by. I love to read about strong women too. Nothing worse than a simpering heroine. LOL>

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  10. Robin, your words does my heart good. I'm glad you enjoyed Adela and your name goes in the hat. I've always loved reading historical romance and it's such a pleasure to get to know others who do.

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  11. New author to me! Thank you, Debbie Lynne, for the introduction and to both of you for the interview! (I am reaching around a young kitten who is purring and loves to sit between my arms as I type.) Historical fiction is my very favorite genre to read. Educational, as well as different insights to the times. I enjoy the turns and twists of mail-order bride stories and I watch for them.

    Women will do what they have been encouraged to do ~ and secretly desire to do, regardless of the time in history. For instance, needlework, with their artistic expression; delicious homemade rolls, scooping flour by handfuls, knowing exactly how much; joyful expression because their lives are full. My father came from a musical family, playing instruments and singing together ~ continuing the interest in their adulthood. Education goes for either male or female ~ apprenticeship, following a trade; attending "normal school" ~ to be a teacher; business college to be a stenographer. Yes, mainly schooling for teachers and nurses, but there were opportunities for further learning ~ from others, or training. Different from today, but inward desires were fulfilled ~ evening classes for those not free during the day. Just out of curiosity, searched "1880 education for women" and found this site ~ http://www.archives.upenn.edu/histy/features/women/chron3.html ~ an exception, perhaps, but available.
    Please add me to the drawing for these stories. Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

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    1. I receive notices of your posts via follower through feedburner ~ Kathleen

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    2. Thanks for the information, Kathleen. I'll have to look up that website. I first became interested in coeducation while reading Jo's Boys (I think that's the right title) by Louisa May Alcott. In the story, Jo and her husband started a college open to both men and women, a revolutionary idea, and much of the discrimination of the day was discussed by the characters. I remember thinking, as a young girl, why would it be considered revolutionary to admit girls to college.

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    3. Hey Kathleen! So good to see you. Awe, your kitty sounds so sweet. Love to hear them purr! Thanks for sharing with us!

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  12. I think that 1880's women were in their way just as varied as women nowadays. We have all sorts of thinking; from "traditional" women who choose to stay home with their families, to the radical pathburners who accomplish much and advance the possibilities for all womankind. And everything in between. I think it's the culture that has changed so dramatically and while I have my own opinions on the "ways of the world", I think similar tensions existed both then and now.
    I am a feedburner follower.
    bcrug(at)myfairpoint(dot)net

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    1. Connie, I was just saying this above, how our modern conveniences have given us more time and because of it we feel the need to fill up the time to accomplish more. Thanks for following and for coming by!

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  13. Hi Connie

    We've had such smart, thoughtful comments today. Thank you for adding to the conversation.

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  14. There are pros and cons to both eras. At least today, a widow does not HAVE to marry in order to provide for her family. jarning67(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Joan. I hear you...pros and cons. I suppose the Apostle Paul had the best advice in Phil 4:11: "I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content."

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    2. Hey Joan. Thanks for coming by. It was tough for a widow to survive. I wonder how much the church in that time period followed the bible principle to take care of the widows. Today they still can have an income but back then...

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  15. I wouldn't know what to say! I agree there are pros and cons to each era. We certainly feel they had it worse back in the day.
    LattebooksAThotmailDOTcom

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    1. Hi Susan.

      Thank you for commenting. I know I'd have to give up the modern conveniences, but sometimes I yearn for the simplier lifestyle of yester year.

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    2. I think in some ways life was harder but in other ways easier. I look at the stress that we are under today and the way we've 'simplified' our life with conveniences and wonder, if they really have made life easier. I even hear my mother complain that there isn't enough time in the day. I never heard that as a child.

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  16. Like the others said, there are pros and cons to each era. While circumstances may be different as far as providing for family, modern women do face many challenges that were not present in days of yore. I believe that splashesofjoy said it best. While I wouldn't wish to be a mail-order bride, I sometimes think I was born in the wrong era. There is much that we can learn from that time period. - Blessings, Julianna emeraldelena[at]hotmail[dot]com

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    1. Hi Julianna,

      Welcome. I too have thought I was born at the wrong time. I'd have loved to live during the genteel era of the 1950s. After that culture took a down-turn, in my opinion.

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    2. Thanks for coming by, Julianna. I think that is one of the things we've lost as a society and that is 'special' respect of a man. Men respect women today but not in the same way since women's rights. As I said up above to Joy, there is something very special when a man stands up when you come into the room. It makes you feel very special. My husband opens all doors for me including car doors and I love it

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  17. Hi Debbie. Thanks for hosting Elaine. She sure has some good looking books. Enjoyed the post. A lots of household things we have makes life easier than those long ago, and gets things done faster. I know how hard it was for I watched and helped momma when I was a young girl as she did our laundry in wash tubs. She had an iron wash pot over a fire for boiling some of the dirt from clothes, then into a washtub to wash clothes with a rub board. a second tub to rinse, not once but twice to be sure soap is out. Then the whites went into bluing, which made the white things really white. Weird I know but it worked. This is over several times for a large family. Next was to wring them out by hand (hard) to hang on the clothes line. Also, dress clothes were to be starched. The next day the dress clothes had to be ironed. And, this was just one chore. Were many others. So, I do believe their work was much harder. But I loved that life was slower, and more time spent with family. And no technical interruptions. Elaine, I would sure love to win your books. Great to have the whole series. I'm not always able to get the whole series. Thanks.
    Debbie thanks to you too and I follow you with Feedburner. GOD bless you both.
    Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

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    1. Maxie, you brought back such fond memories. As a toddler, I remember wash days, always on Monday, when a woman came in to help my mother do the wash outdoors. We weren't rich, just a large family. They would boil the heavily soiled clothing in a washpot, rinse in two other pots, and a little later, put the other clothes in a wringer washing machine. I was so afraid of that wringer as I'd been warned some children had lost their arms getting caught in it. Tuesday was ironing day, all day long. I'm feeling so lazy now.

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    2. Maxie, thanks for coming by! I remember my grandmother kept a wringer washer for years beyond the modern washer. I love what you said. Life was slower! It was. And that I think is because people were too tired from all their hard work to pack more into their day. And they valued family. Thanks for sharing.

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  18. Women today have more opportunities than they did in the 1900's. The roles of women today are so diverse. We don't have the limitations of the 1800's but so ma and we really don't. So many women think they have to be superwomen. The sky is the limit but we are spread way too thin to do any of it right fishingjan[at]aol[dot]com

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    1. Hi Jan,

      Do you like fishing? My mother was a great fisherwoman and would have gone everyday if she could. I admire the women of the 1800s, the pioneers. It's said they are the ones who really settled the west. It takes a good woman and family to settle a man down.

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    2. Hey Jan. That's it! We are spread too thin! We try to put more and more into our days because these conveniences give us more time. Instead of using the time to relax and spend with each other we feel like we have to get more done.

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  19. I guess I'm on the fence on this question. While I believe we have it better today, I also see that women in the 1800s were strong, capable women that worked just as hard as men, if not harder. The woman's role then was to be mother, cook, gardener, dairymaid, plow-horse at times, hunter, and so much more. They didn't have the luxury of dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, cars, etc. that we have today. Sometimes I wish had been born in the 1800s because life seemed so much simpler then. You had a role and there was no distractions, such as TV and the internet. You toiled from sunup to sundown because you had no choice. Sure women today have to work sometimes from sunup to sundown, but again, we have the luxuries 1800s women did not. That is why I say I am on the fence on this one. How about you? princessdebbie1_2000@yahoo.com

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    1. Hey Debbie, Thanks for coming by. I think today's women have more stress in their lives. My FIL lived from horse and buggy days to seeing men on the moon and people traveling daily by planes to nuclear war. I wish I'd have thought to ask him which life he thought was better.

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  20. Thanks for stopping by, Debbie. I understand being on the fence. The culture is the only thing that would make me want to go back. My opinion only, but I think women had more self-respect back then, maybe only because society expected it of her. It's true some women became mail-order brides, but they made sure a wedding ceremony came before moving in.

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  21. By the way, I am a feedburner follower and am excited about this book giveaway. Your series on mail-order brides sounds fun. I believe they still have mail-order brides to this day in some countries. Have a great day.

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  22. Hi Debbie, thanks for being a follower. Some countries do have arranged marriages. At least the mail-order bride chose who she'd marry, usually, even if she didn't know much about him. I like to read and write these type stories because of the tension and conflict the situation brings to the romance.

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  23. These novels look really good. Would love to read them. Thanks for the post and giveaway. ;)

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  24. Hi Sydney, thanks for dropping by. Hope you're having a lovely Saturday. Your name goes in the drawing for sure. Stay turned.

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