Welcome to the release day Five Past Midnight, a special boxed set from Samhain Publishing! I’m so proud to be a part of this with my fellow supernatural thriller authors. Each of our stories is unique, but I think you’ll find some elements in common: sexy and smart heroes, independent heroines, and action galore!

Below you’ll find excerpts from all the books but, first, the giveaway! This will run for a week and enter to win the entire digital set.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now the sneak peaks! As you can read, I’m in excellent company.One of the fringe benefits of being in this box set is that I found four new authors to read. :)

From Veiled Target by Robin Bielman:
Tess Damon had no intention of telling the man holding the gun to her head what she was capable of. If he believed he had the upper hand, maybe she’d get out of this alive.

She silently fought the knots in her stomach and gripped the leather safety straps hanging in the open lift gate of the small, private business jet. As she struggled to keep her footing against the howling gale-force wind, shivers raced up and down her body. The frigid temperature stole precious air from her lungs. Her eyes watered and her ears ached. Pressure from the gun barrel hurt right in that tension headache spot above her eye.

Her first time flying in an aircraft that combined the comfort of a Cessna with the functionality of a sky-diving plane wasn’t exactly working in her favor.

“When we started this date, I’d no idea of your true intentions,” shouted the sharp- toothed businessman over the painful air currents. “You were wrong to think I’d be easy to get rid of.”

Tess let a practiced smile slip over her lips. She might be wrong about a lot of things, but eliminating the vampire who’d killed dozens of innocent people using weapons—with delay and torment—because he hated to get his fangs or hands dirty, wasn’t one of them.

From Blood, Smoke & Mirrors by Robyn Bachar:

I hate after-midnight meetings. Anyone who wants to talk to a witch after the witching hour doesn’t want to chat about the weather, and my boss wouldn’t call this late unless something was wrong. Bad news should be heard after I’ve had a good night’s sleep and a cup of coffee, not after I’ve worked a ten-hour shift that featured lousy tips and three of the loudest screaming babies I’d ever encountered during my restaurant career. Already I wished I’d done the smart thing and hung up, turned off my cell phone, crawled into bed and hidden under the safety of the covers.

The anxious feeling in my gut made me indulge in my first cigarette in over a month as I left my apartment building. I’d dug the half-empty pack out of the bottom of a purse I hadn’t used since winter, and the cigarette tasted stale and bitter. This was my tenth failed attempt to quit—I’d have to remember to cuss Mac out for it first thing at this meeting of his, because it was clearly all his fault. Maxwell “Mac” MacInnes is my boss, the owner and manager of the Three Willows Café. He’s also my friend, and has been for several years now—one of the few I have left.

Though it was a warm, muggy summer night, the air outside was much more comfortable than my stuffy apartment. I puffed away on my smoke as I headed down the sidewalk, and the streetlight closest to my building flickered as the bulb exploded with a loud, angry pop. Feeling guilty, I ignored it and picked up my pace.

Most of the windows were dark in the houses I passed, the occupants fast asleep at this hour as they rested up for another day of work. My neighborhood is a nice place in general, though I don’t recommend walking through it alone at night, particularly if you’re a woman. Of course I don’t follow my own advice, but my case is…unique. Sure, I look as threatening as a grade-school librarian. I’m on the overweight side, I wear glasses, and my mouse-brown hair is most often pulled back into a messy braid or ponytail. My wardrobe consists of T-shirts, blue jeans, and unintimidating white running shoes. I might as well have “Mug me” stamped in the middle of my forehead.

From Slayer’s Kiss by Cassi Carver:

“Just lie back and relax, asshole. I swear you won’t feel a thing.” Kara adjusted the bindings around the man’s wrists and plunged the syringe deep into his thigh. When the concoction started making its way through his veins, he bucked under Kara’s weight. She stood and put one boot heel against his throat to quiet him as the relaxant started taking effect. “How is she, Abbey?”

Abbey frowned and brushed her red hair out of her eyes. “She’s going to be all right, but I put a call in to 911. We need to hurry.”

Kara glanced at the man lying on the dirty pavement of the alley. His expensive slacks were around his ankles, and after all these years, it still struck Kara as odd that the assailants never fit a certain mold. She and Abbey had taken down everything from homeless men to men who drove hundred-thousand-dollar sports cars. Money didn’t matter, and it wasn’t for the sex.

These men wanted power over others. They got off on the degradation and the pain they inflicted.

“He’s ready for you. Let’s help this gentleman get in touch with his manners.”

Abbey tucked a coat around the unconscious victim, shielding her lower half from view of the police officers who would shortly be arriving on the scene. She rose to her feet and walked to Kara. “Don’t bruise his throat, Kare-bear. The knot you gave him with your elbow is bad enough. His temple looks like he got hit with a baseball bat, and we don’t want the police thinking he was the victim here.”

From Soul Bound by Anne Hope:

Jace had always suspected that someday someone would try to kill him. He just hadn’t expected it to be tonight. Especially not in some rundown bar that reeked of beer and unwashed flesh.

He should have, though. The place was ripe with negative energy, this evening more than usual. An undercurrent of violence permeated the air and resonated from the patrons. The tattooed lump of flesh who went by the name of Viper was no exception.

“Did you say something to me, bitch?” Viper shattered his beer bottle on the corner of the bar and approached him menacingly.

The biker didn’t resemble a snake. He was big and round and lumbered more than he slithered, but there was definitely something snakelike about him, a predatory gleam in his eyes that would warn any sane man to back off.

Sanity had never been one of Jace’s strong points. He had too much anger inside him, was sick and tired of seeing men like Viper terrorize everyone around them and get away with it. “I said, leave the guy alone,” he repeated, ignoring the broken bottle aimed at his throat.

Viper’s original target had been some lanky accountant-type, who’d walked into The Hangout—a renowned bikers’ bar—dressed in a goddamn suit. Then he’d added insult to injury by ordering a glass of Chardonnay. Smelling blood, Viper had come in for the kill, incessantly poking fun at the man and not allowing him to leave when the idiot realized the error of his ways.


Note: Those dealing with the problem on a daily basis don’t need this post. I was debating about publishing this but my tweet on the subject is mentioned in Newsweek, so…here we go. :)

This year, one of the nominees in the inspirational category of the Romance Writers of America Rita Award for Excellence in romance fiction, For Such a Time, featured a romance between a Jewish concentration camp survivor and a German concentration camp *commander.*

In the end, both find God and convert to Christianity.

If you are appalled at that very concept, you’re not the only one.

Once the storyline of For Such a Time became widely known, there was an uproar that eventually caused the RWA to issue a statement about the inclusion of the book in the awards, which basically boiled down to “yes, we see the problem with this book but we can’t censor entries for content rather than quality, that’s up to the judges.”

Most of the blowback, especially outside the romance community, has not only come back to the author and this book but on inspirational writers and their stories in general. That makes me wince because there are so many wonderful inspirational novels out there with love stories that work beautifully.

But controversy is part of a larger discussion that we, as romance writers and readers, need to have about diversity in our books.

As someone who wrote a Jewish heroine, I have first-hand knowledge that the inspirational community isn’t the only one with a problem with Jewish heroines.

These are the judging comments I received this year in a prominent published RWA contest for my steampunk, The Curse of the Brimstone Contract:

I would also advise the author to be cautious about bringing in religion into a novel if it is not necessary and is mixed with magic. Culture, including Indian, Jewish, or Christian, sure, but it can drive readers away if it is not essential to understanding the story. Although the author might believe some of those Jewish tenets are necessary to the plot like man being the head of the household in this historical context, those tenets are actually in other religions like Hindu and Christian at the same moment in time – which is why I’m suggesting to treat it more like a cultural/family history belief rather than a religious teaching within the context of any story. Quite frankly, who cared that August was Christian and wanting to marry our heroine? It didn’t really add anything nor add conflict. 

When I first began reading these comment, I thought they would concern the dangers of cultural appropriation (as I’m not Jewish myself) and a warning not to cross that line, which would have been absolutely appropriate.

But it quickly becomes clear that what I was being told is that there had to be “a reason” for the heroine to be non-white or non-Christian. In other words, the book would be better if my heroine were Christian and not Jewish. WTF?

This is faulty and dangerous reasoning.

As one of my fellow panelists at the Diversity in Romance: Why it Mattters panel at RWA National last month said, diversity isn’t important only in providing a wider range of stories for everyone–g: changing people’s minds and hearts about those they view as “different” is literally a matter of life and death to people who live with this prejudice everyday, people like Sandra Bland.

Being a straight white Christian is only *one* of numerous choices authors can make for characters.

There doesn’t have to be a “reason” to write non-white characters.

Your characters simply have to be characters you’d like to write about. Period.

This false, insidious reasoning is an attitude that filters down from publishing to writers and has a chilling effect, leading to comments like the ones I received.

The fascinating part of all this is that this is the first *negative* comments I’ve received on this story about the heroine being Jewish. I’m not even close to a bestselling author but this book is my bestselling book.

What that tells me is readers are already way ahead of the curve.

But the purpose of sharing these comments isn’t to slam the judge or the contest or RWA. It’s to illustrate a problem. (ETA: Yes, I emailed the contest coordinator with a polite note that basically said ‘this is so not right’ but they never emailed back to even acknowledge receipt of my email.)

And to suggest some solutions:

1. We have to acknowledge and get this stuff out in the open so it can be shot down as myth and we can, as writers and readers, move past it. Bury this whole “but they need a reason to be…X.”

2. Two, we need to let publishing know they’re wrong for believing readers won’t read books about non-white/LGBTQ or other marginalized groups.

A great start would be to tell Harlequin to stop segregating romances written by black authors featuring black protagonists in their separate line. As Farrah Rochon said at the Diversity panel I mentioned above, it’s segregating pure and simple. All of Harlequin’s other lines are segregated by genre: suspense, spicy, sweet, etc. Only the Kimani line is “black” and has all romance subgenres in it.

Send an email to Harlequin about this at CustomerService@Harlequin.com

Better yet, send a snail mail to either

United States:
P.O. Box 5190
Buffalo, NY 14240-5190

P.O. Box 615
Fort Erie, ON L2A 5X3

Dear Harlequin, 

I’m a romance readers and I love romances of all kinds. Stop the segregation and place black books by black authors featuring black protagonists in their proper subgenres. 



It won’t solve every problem but it’s start.

3. We, as a romance community, need to have this discussion and, more, we need to listen to authors of colors, LGBTQ authors, and authors with disabilities about the change that needs to happen. Their voices must be heard. At the RWA Board meeting at National last month, the board established a diversity ad hoc committee. That’s also a start.

The very last thing that those of us who are straight, white authors should do?

Actively discourage diversity, as this judge did for this contest.

Don’t be that judge. Don’t be that person.


Hey all!

Should you be infused with a burning desire to meet me, this summer is your chance.

First, this Wednesday, in New York City, I will be part of the massive Romance Writers of American Literacy Autographing at the Marriott Marquis in New York City.  That’s Wednesday, July 23rd. From RWA:

“At the “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing, hundreds of romance authors meet with and sign books for fans in this two-hour event, with the proceeds from book sales going to literacy organizations. This year’s beneficiaries are ProLiteracy Worldwide, Literacy Partners, and Literacy Assistance Center.

In 2014, Romance Writers of America raised more than $53,000 to benefit literacy organizations. Since 1990, RWA has raised more than $878,000 to fight illiteracy.


Thank you to the Nora Roberts Foundation for underwriting the Literacy Autographing!  The 2015 “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing will be on Wednesday, July 22, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the New York Marriott Marquis in the Westside Ballroom.

Note: While the event takes place in the Westside Ballroom, the queue will be in the Broadway Ballroom (6th floor).

Second, I’ll be in the Chicago area, mid-August! Come see me and other authors! Hope to see some of you there!

Schaumburg graphic.pages

In the last excerpt from Phoenix Inheritance, I left Charlie and Renee in trouble in the last teaser and now here comes a cat, doing what cats do. :)

The book is available at Amazon on the link above, at Samhain Publishing, and at iBooks. I also have a Goodreads giveaway running.



“You okay?” she asked Charlie.

“Scared.” His teeth chattered. “I didn’t go higher. I’m sorry.”

“You went plenty high. Not your fault the tree didn’t cooperate.”

Her back set against the tree, she wondered how long before their perch gave way from
the weight of the snow collecting on its leaves. Seconds, minutes, hours? She really did need Captain Marvel right now. Damn.

She swatted around the flakes that had gathered on her face and eyelashes and tried to stare up into the storm. She caught a glimpse of her scarf, hanging from what was left of the tree branch. She glanced down at her wrist. It was still attached. It must have ripped apart.

“Ma, the kitty’s here,” Charlie said.


“Look!” He pointed and she heard a meow above them.

I could kill you, cat, she thought.

The cat meowed again.

“He’s worried about me,” Charlie said.

The cat did sound scared. Join the club, furball.

“He says he could have gone to a warm spot, but he likes me. He says I need a cuddle.”

To her disbelieving eyes, the cat picked his way down the slope, through the branches, leaves and snow, and jumped onto Charlie’s chest.

Oh, great, she thought. Now I’m not just trapped out here in the storm with my son, now I have to deal with a stray cat on top of us. Wonder of wonders, the cat started purring and settled down against Charlie.

“I guess he does like you,” Renee said. “But be careful and don’t move around too much.”

“He’ll be calm. He likes me, likes me better than other people he knows.”

“He sure seems to like you.” The cat was distracting Charlie from their situation, so that was good, so long as it didn’t scratch or claw at them.

“Ma? We’re stuck, aren’t we?”

“Yeah, we’re stuck. For now. But I’m catching my breath and then we’ll try something else.”

“You’ll get us out. I know you will. Even if he says you can’t.”

“Who says I can’t?”

“Odin. The cat.”

Great. She was being doubted by a cat. Not just a cat, the cat who’d caused this problem in the first place. No, wait. Charlie was probably the one who was scared and doubting her and pretending it was the cat.

To show you how my writing process goes, this was originally the first scene in Phoenix Inheritance. It’s now scene #3, as Renee has just picked up her autistic son, Charlie, after an incident at school.

A storm’s coming, quite literally.


Renee’s hand-knit scarf rippled in the wind as she wrestled the last patio chair toward the open garage. The sky overhead had already turned from bright blue to a foreboding shade of gray. The colorful fall was now more like a moving, shifting Ansel Adams photograph.

Charlie trailed behind her, but she kept watch on him all the same, especially since he was particularly afraid of storms. She didn’t want him panicking inside while she was busy outside.

“Almost done,” she said.

“Can I help?” Snowflakes dotted his dark hat and he looked so sweet in that instant that she wished she could bottle it. He was a great kid. There had to be a way to help him cope. There had to be.

“Nah, I’m good. Just keep me company and remind me next time not to buy such heavy patio chairs.” She’d bought them so the winds wouldn’t knock them around. She’d forgotten about the part where she needed to drag them inside for the winter.
She glanced at the huge oak trees that dotted the borders of her yard. Their branches were still laden with leaves, making them vulnerable to the weight of the falling snow.

Charlie tugged at her sleeve. “When will it be time for hot chocolate?”

“Right about now, soon as we get the chair set and go inside.”


Thor and Loki barked from the inside of the house. They didn’t like her being out
without them. Silly boys. Too cold for them to romp outside now. The temperature must have dropped twenty degrees in the last two hours.

She turned the corner and slid the chair into her garage. There. Done. Nothing left now but hunker down and hope for the best.
Her son tapped her hip and pointed. “Mom! Look! The cat’s back! I have to get him!” Not that stray cat again. “He’ll be fine. Cats can survive storms.”

“But he says I have to come get him. He wants my help.”

The problems at school were bad enough. She’d hoped this insistence on talking to animals was just a phase. Could he really be hearing voices?

“I’ll walk over there to see how he is. You stay here,” she said.

“No, he said I have to come!”

Renee reached out to grab Charlie’s sleeve, anticipating what was coming, but he was too fast for her and she missed. He took off at full speed across the lawn, toward the trees and the edge of the forest. She sped after him, yelling at him to stop but he ignored her. She ran full out, the cold air stinging her lungs.

Just before she caught up to Charlie, her feet slipped on the wet leaves. She stumbled, went down to one knee and saw him plunge into the woods, helpless to stop him.

“Wait!” she yelled again but the only response was the sound of leaves crunching far ahead. She scrambled to her feet.

Oh, God, oh God. There was a nasty drop-off only about ninety yards into the trees. Visions of Charlie going over the edge had her stomach in knots. She might have thrown up if she wasn’t so busy running after him. Here she’d been pissed at the school for letting him out of their sight and she’d made the same damn mistake.

She leapt over a bush and hit the brambles at a run. Branches swatted her face and prickers grabbed at her pants. The snow fell harder and faster. The trees seemed to all meld together, obscuring visibility. She couldn’t see Charlie at all, and she wasn’t sure she heard him anymore either. She wanted to rage, to slam against the nearest tree in frustration.

But panicking would be the absolutely wrong thing to do. She halted.


Her throat was so closed up in fear that her yell came out as a whisper. She drew a deep breath and tried again. This time, his name came out as a scream. Still no answer.

Everything she’d learned in her search-and-rescue work told her panicking would get her nowhere. Yeah, that training worked awesomely when it wasn’t her own kid. She cupped her hands around her mouth and screamed his name again. Answer me!
Silence. Where could he have gone so fast? She had visions of him going over that edge and hitting the bottom hard. She blinked away tears.

“Mom! Help!”

Oh, God. That came from the direction of the drop-off.

“Coming, Charlie!” She tried not to run because she couldn’t see more than two feet in front of her, but the fear in her son’s voice drove her.

“Mom, I’m gonna fall!”

“I’m right here!”

Her lead foot pushed against empty air. She grabbed the nearest branch before she went
over the edge, only just halting her fall.

“Charlie!” Where was he? She dropped to her knees to peer over the edge, trying to see
through all the fat, wet snowflakes. This was the only place he could be. But where? All the way to the bottom? No, no. Dammit…


The voice came from directly below, and she finally spotted him. He smiled, but she fought not to collapse in terror. The only thing keeping him from plunging to the bottom was that he was hanging on to the exposed roots of a white birch tree that was growing half sideways out of the cliff.

After the birch tree, it was a thirty-foot drop.

Oh, and a little arm porn for you all.

To save their son, they might have to sacrifice their love--and their lives.

To save their son, they might have to sacrifice their love–and their lives.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

phoenix inheritance by Corrina Lawson

phoenix inheritance

by Corrina Lawson

Giveaway ends July 03, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to Win

Still wondering whether to enter? Here are some reviews to help you decide: Romantic Times gives Phoenix Inheritance 4 stars: Lawson’s newest addition to the Phoenix Institute series is sentimental, exciting and also spotlights Charlie, an autistic boy who steals the show at times. Fans of the paranormal will be wowed right out of their seats, and those who love romance won’t feel left out either, thanks to the passionate sex scenes, which are tastefully done. The several twists and turns keep readers engaged in the suspenseful plot. An all-around great book! –   From Just Talking Books: I really enjoyed reading Phoenix Inheritance and even though I hadn’t read the previous books in this series, I found it very easy to follow which is a true test of the author’s story telling abilities. This is a paranormal story so expect telepathy and telekinesis to feature heavily as gifted humans appear, but it’s also a story of two people finding the courage to take a chance because it’s not always easy putting your heart on the line. This was a sensual romance that didn’t feel rushed or forced and the background information to the couple’s first encounters really helped pull me in. What really surprised me was the concept of making their son Charlie autistic.   I found it quite poignant that both parents had a very different approach to their son’s behaviour. Renee is a woman fighting for support for her son, whilst for a lot of the story Dax is a man in denial and that felt very realistic. I’m sure it’s terribly difficult for parents to accept any difference in their child and ignorance and prejudice is an awful thing. Luckily, as the story progressed, Dax grew in my estimation (trust me he had a lot to make up for!) and realised autism is not something to run from but just a part of his son’s makeup. Charlie’s autism is, quite simply, just a part of who he is and all differences should be embraced!


Goodreads Book Giveaway


The Curse of the Brimstone Contract by Corrina Lawson


The Curse of the Brimstone Contract


by Corrina Lawson


Giveaway ends July 01, 2015. See the giveaway details at Goodreads.


Enter to Win


From CriminalElement.com: What at first seems like a fun, magic infused mystery, turned out to be quite a bit more. Joan is seemingly bound by not only her social status, but also her family obligations, and not only does magic mean a way out, it helps to gives her the courage to assert herself and take control of her destiny. There is a bit of light romance, but this is Joan’s journey, and the steampunk-tinged setting of Victorian London (and the clothes, oh, the clothes!) is icing on the cake.

Night Owl Reviews Top Pick!: This is a fun introduction to what promises to be a very entertaining steampunk series featuring atypical main characters. I greatly enjoyed the focus on different cultures as it contrasts with the challenge of dealing with a society that is stratified by magic. This gives a very different view of historical England as it deals with both the complications and progress made as industrialization progresses plus the struggle to gain equality for women.

4 and 4 1/2 Star Reviews on Amazon.com For The Curse of the Brimstone Contract:

“illustrates the author’s wondrous facility at creating a compelling and imaginative story.”

“Joan is a strong heroine and Sherringford is a man of mystery. The plot sucks you in deeply and quickly. Be prepared to read the book in one sitting!”

“Lawson has managed to incorporate both genres into a multi-layered world uniquely her own. After the midpoint I couldn’t put it down.”

Officially out in paperback June 9th.

Officially out in paperback June 9th! 


First, look at one of my Mother’s Day presents:

agent carter, SHIELD

Yep, time to get cracking on the Agent Carter cosplay.

That was from the eldest daughter who, UNBELIEVABLY….

Graduates college this weekend.

The mind boggles.

I also received three wonderful reviews of my books.

A 4-Star review from the Romantic Times magazine (the biggest romance magazine going) for Phoenix Inheritance, calling it an “all around great book.”

The longer quote:

“Lawson’s newest addition to the Phoenix Institute series is sentimental, exciting and also spotlights Charlie, an autistic boy who steals the show at times. Fans of the paranormal will be wowed right out of their seats, and those who love romance won’t feel left out either, thanks to the passionate sex scenes, which are tastefully done. The several twists and turns keep readers engaged in the suspenseful plot. An all-around great book! – 

2. Another review of Phoenix Inheritance that used explanations points for “recommended” at Just Talking BooksI love it when reviews use exclamation points.

What really surprised me was the concept of making their son Charlie autistic. I found it quite poignant that both parents had a very different approach to their son’s behaviour. Renee is a woman fighting for support for her son, whilst for a lot of the story Dax is a man in denial and that felt very realistic. I’m sure it’s terribly difficult for parents to accept any difference in their child and ignorance and prejudice is an awful thing. Luckily, as the story progressed, Dax grew in my estimation (trust me he had a lot to make up for!) and realised autism is not something to run from but just a part of his son’s makeup. Charlie’s autism is, quite simply, just a part of who he is and all differences should be embraced!”

3. An unexpected and welcome review of my Holmes-inspired steampunk, The Curse of the Brimstone Contract at Ramblings From This Chick. 

“There is so much more than a mystery to be solved in this book. Romance. Of course there is romance. Gregor’s and Joan’s ability to merge their minds to solve a mystery presages the sweet uniting of their hearts. In addition to mystery and romance, there are class issues, an arranged marriage (unwanted), old magic, curses, new magical ability, and secrets. So many secrets. There is not a boring page in The Curse of the Brimstone Contract. I hope to be reading another book in the series soon!”

Now I have to go. The mother-in-law is coming in a couple of days, which means..cleaning. Lots of cleaning. :)

Ah, c’mon. Even if you don’t have a dirty mind, I promise there’s even something a little bit sentimental about this story, as the title is meant to be ironic.

It features Trisha & Grayson, the leads of my unpublished (but hopefully not for long) romantic suspense.

A cut after the first page because, yes, nudity, and, yes, x-rated. Apologies as my scanner isn’t perfect and I don’t have the original files.

Story by me, art by Beto Nicacio, letters by Erica J. Heflin

Story by me, art by Beto Nicacio, letters by Erica J. Heflin


First up, a 4-star review from Night Owl Reviews on Ghosts of Christmas Past:

“The strong compelling characters grab the reader’s attention from the very beginning and the fast paced and smooth flowing plot keeps readers shivering in apprehension with suspense, excitement and passion.”

Love Al and Noir. Plus, hey, you don’t need it to be Christmas to read it!

Phoenix Inheritance was reviewed at the big romance reader site, Dear Author. I love that the reviewer completely got the story. My publisher made this cool image for me, so I’ll share the whole review. As for my prose? Well, lyrical language isn’t a specialty though every now and then I turn a pretty phase. To me, story is all.


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