Meet the author anna michael

  • Have the main character of your last novel introduce you to our readers.

So this lady acts like she’s the boss, but absolutely nobody bosses me around, except my kid. And that’s mostly because I like to win and I like to be able to give that to my little girl. But if Anna thinks she’s in charge of anything that I do, she really needs to reconsider. Look, she has enough on her hands with two little kids, a rescue dog, and her idiot cat. She doesn’t need to be in charge of anybody else, especially the hot guys she’s imagining.

  • Without giving us spoilers introduce your latest and greatest novel or work in progress and let us know which it is and if it’s a WIP let us know when it goes live.

My next book, Big Boss, is scheduled to release on October 13th. It’s an age gap workplace romance featuring a former rockstar billionaire who is definitely going to fall in love with his assistant.

  • What do you like best about your main character in your latest and greatest or WIP from above?

I like that my heroine is learning to embrace her differences and live her most authentic life. The way she shows her boss how to embrace who he is has a significant impact on their friendship and love story.

  • Tell us a little about one of your side characters from your latest and greatest or WIP?

The heroes of this series are a group of billionaire best friends who play poker together. You’ll meet the hero of the next book in this one, but he’s in a rough place and not at his best, so be gentle with him until he gets his own book.

How did you come up with your idea for the above story?

I loved Lyssa Kay Adams’ Bromance Book Club series, and wanted to write about a group of guy best friends who take care of each other even though they are all different types of men. In the first book, the hero was a single dad athlete, and in this book, he’s a former bad boy rockstar who’s trying to overcome the ghosts of his past reputation.

  • What was your writing plan for this book or WIP?

Panic, procrastination, and lots of caffeine/DoorDash delivery.

  • How do you handle writer’s block?

Work on a different book. When I’ve been stuck in this one (book 2), I’ve been working on book 4 (I can’t WAIT for the last book in this series).

  • Do you have a secret writing ritual and what is it?

I do like to leave home during the last pre-deadline push and stay up all night and eat weird snacks.

  • What is your writing snack?

I like salty snacks like Veggie Straws or cheddar popcorn. I’m also really into energy drinks when I’m working hard.

  • What do you do when you’re not writing?

I’m a mom and a lawyer, so I’m usually running my kids to different places or at the courthouse for my day job.

  • What is your favorite season and why?

Autumn is the best. I like the change of colors with the leaves and cooler temperatures, bonfires and s’mores, and my favorite holiday (Halloween).

  • What is your favorite genre to read and what do you like about it?

I read almost entirely romance (mostly contemporary and mostly queer/sapphic) and YA fantasy. I love happily ever afters and make believe, and I have loved both of these my entire life, so it’s not a surprise that these are still my two favorite things to read.

  • Do you have a writer’s mission statement? What is it?

My author tagline is “escaping reality one page at a time” and this is what I always want to give my readers. I know regular life can be difficult and even depressing, and if I can give you a break for a few hours or a day, then I’m grateful to be able to do that.

  • What do you listen to when you write? How does it help to put you in the mood?

I make playlists for my books, but usually, I just listen to brainFM or Endel (programs that play sounds/music that is supposed to optimize brain activity for work and creativity) when I’m writing. I can’t listen to lyrics or it messes up how the book sounds in my brain.


What was your biggest failure that you turned into a success?

Last year, I truly struggled with depression, and it was extremely difficult to get back to writing. I was so sad all the time that it was hard to go to a place where people could be happy and fall in love, and I was honestly worried that I couldn’t do it. So I started small by taking care of my health first, and that helped me to get through finishing a manuscript. My last release was my best yet and has more reviews than any of my other books.

For all those writers who are struggling. I wanted to let you know that I believe in you. YOU CAN DO IT.




I just wanted to share this with you, I hope you enjoy it.

Cowboy’s Secondhand Heart Chapter 3

Lisa grabbed her coat close around her. It was a cold day for October, and the drizzle made it miserable. Today, Joseph and Lisa were going to paint the inside of the two-bedroom cottage about a mile down the road from the big ranch house so she could move into it. The house was beautiful, with a big yard, and it was October, but you could see the outlines of flower beds that Lisa was certain in spring would be beautiful.

When she went inside, she found Joseph in the kitchen painting it a sunny yellow color. She could smell coffee over the smell of the paint.

“Mmm, it smells good in here. Do you have another cup? … I can’t thank you enough for helping me, Joseph. It really means a lot. The place looks terrific.”

“No problem. There is a cup over there. Are you ready to get in here?” He didn’t wait for an answer but went on, “Well, everything is up to code. Mom and Dad redid the plumbing and electricity. You’ll have new appliances once we get the painting done. It’ll be like getting a new house. You’re even getting new floors.”

“It’s the best. I don’t understand why they would do this. I mean, I’m not one of their children, yet your mom treats me like I’m one of the other girls. It’s kinda nice. After I graduated, my mom and dad moved to Tucson, so I don’t get to see them very often.”

“Are you gonna stand there and talk, or are you gonna get busy and get this place painted?”

            Lisa took one more sip of coffee and grabbed a roller, a paintbrush, and a can of eggshell-colored paint, and went to the bedroom. She shook the can, opened it, poured it into the roller pan, and began to cut in the corners of the room. Soon she was rolling and giving it a second coat.

Joseph came in and looked at her face smudged with paint and thought she was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. He picked up the paint rag and started wiping her face with the cloth. The electricity between the two was unmistakable. Joseph dropped the paint rag and grabbed Lisa by the shoulders so tightly it almost hurt. He pulled her close to him. Their faces were so close Lisa could feel his breath on her lips and almost taste the remnants of his coffee. Then suddenly, there were voices in the kitchen. It was Sarah and James. They had brought lunch. Joseph turned and went out the front door of the house, slamming the door and avoiding his parents, leaving Lisa to explain.

I’m not about to explain what I can’t explain to anyone, and I don’t want to share this with anyone but Joseph.

Lisa took a deep breath and went to greet Sarah and James.

“What do you think?” Lisa asked as she stood in the middle of the bright, buttery, sunny kitchen.

Sarah knew something had happened and asked, “Are you okay? You look upset. Is there anything I can do?”

James scolded his wife and said, “Leave her alone, will ya. Give her some privacy.”

“No, I’m fine. It’s just the paint fumes.”

“Well, of course. Let’s open this window and get some fresh air in here. How much painting is left to do?” Sarah wanted to know. “Where did Joseph go?”

“He headed to the hardware store to get some stuff to help us clean ourselves up.”

            James ended that conversation with a harumph.


 Chloe was having a sleepover at her friend Christine’s house. Joseph was free to be unusually self-indulgent, and that’s what he was. He went to the Niwot Tavern, grabbed himself a table, and settled in. He wasn’t going anywhere until he felt better or felt nothing at all. He ordered beer and shots of whiskey and waited for the numb to fall over him.

What was that? Why did I do that? Was I just about to kiss her? I haven’t kissed anyone but Jennifer since I met Jennifer in college. I can’t be this man. I can’t be this dad.

Just then, Heather, one of the local girls, came up to him, “What the hell are you doing down here in town, Joey? Are you slumming?” she asked. Heather was a petite blonde with big long hair and short shorts. She wore cowboy boots and a tight T-shirt rolled up and tied in a knot at the back.

            Joseph doesn’t answer her question, “Can I buy you a drink, Heather? How the hell have you been? It’s been a long, long time.”

Heather said, “Well now, that’s downright friendly of you.”

            Heather and Joseph sat at the table drinking until it was closing time, then Heather said, “We could go back to my place if you want.”

“I really should go home, but I’m tired of my mother pulling my strings. So let’s go to your house.”

Joseph was a little taken aback when they pulled up to a motor home parked next to where Heather’s parents lived. Joseph remembered a cheerleader disappearing from high school, but it was never proven that Heather had anything to do with that. Joseph was still drunk, however, and didn’t realize the danger he was in. He followed Heather up the stairs into the Coachman Catalina Summit. He watched his step and ducked his head—it was quite the feat getting inside and not hitting his head. The place smelled of hairspray and plastic.

“What can I get you to drink?” Heather asked. She did not want this party to stop.

“Do you have any Jack Daniels? That’s what I like, but I’ll take anything.”

“Great. I’ve got some beer in the fridge. Do you wanna grab a couple, and I’ll change into something more comfortable.”

Heather went to the back of the camper, and when she appeared again, she was wearing a short red silk robe with a dragon painted on the back, and that’s all. Joseph could see her various piercings and the tattoos on her thigh and stomach.

It was when he noticed the pierced labium that he felt he was in over his head and needed to go home. “Heather, I can’t be here. I don’t want to be here. I still love my wife.”

“You don’t still love your wife. It’s been years since she died. I’m just not good enough for you.”

“Look Heather, you caught me at a bad time. I was hurting and wanted to hurt someone else, and you don’t deserve to be used that way. … Goodbye, Heather.”

“If you think this is over, you’re wrong.”

With that, Joseph headed straight for his truck, the barn, and Jasper, counting his blessings.


The next night after dinner, Julia suggested a game of Cornhole, “Let’s play after Mom and Dad have gone to bed. We’ll play out in the barn, so we don’t disturb anyone. It’s Friday night, and I am so bored I can’t stand it. I need to howl at the moon.”

“Two things, Julia. I have never played cornhole before—never even heard of it, and I get weirdly competitive. I can’t help myself.”

“Do you remember the game Toss Across? It’s kinda like that, only different. We’ll teach you how to play.”

“Okay. I’ll stay up and play with you.” Lisa said, leaning forward in excitement at being asked by Julia to do something.

“What about you, Joseph? You look like a guy that needs to let loose.”

“Look, I am not a guy that needs to let loose. Just because tomorrow is Saturday does not mean that I don’t have a shitload of work to do. We have pregnant cows that are going to calf any day now.” Joseph ran a brush through Chloe’s hair.

Lisa was embarrassed she had assumed that a Friday night was a good night to get a little loose for everyone. “I didn’t mean to offend you, Joseph. I just thought everyone went a little crazy on Friday nights.”

“Oh, come on. Please, brother Joey. I do stuff for you all the time.”

“Fine. I’ll meet you out in the barn after Chloe falls asleep. Who is bringing the refreshments?”

“I’ll send Stephen. Any requests?”

            “Jack and Bud.”          

            This is my chance to get to know Joseph better and to show him that I am just a regular person. Not that I care one way or the other.

            The four headed to the barn for a game of Cornhole.

            Julia gets the bucket out with the Cornhole bags, “Let’s play girls against guys.”

            “That’s fine, Julia. But I want to play with you at some point tonight,” Stephen said, and then he blushed. “You know what I mean.”

            Lisa wanted to get a little teasing in. “Yes, Stephen, we do know exactly what you mean.”          This caused Stephen to turn bright red and turn his face away from the three. Lisa worried for a moment that she may have gone too far.

            Joseph poured drinks for everyone—shots of Jack Daniels—and then he opened bottles of beer for each of them.

            These guys make drinking into a sport, at least sometimes. I hope I can keep up without getting sick.

            Lisa did what everyone else did. She chugged her shot and took a drink of her beer.

            Joseph took the bags and handed a set to Lisa, “Ladies first.”

            Lisa threw first, and then Stephen. Next Julia and Joseph. In the end, the girls won the round, and the boys needed to drink a shot. The boys won the next round.

            Lisa pitched her bags. “Julia, will you teach me how to ride?”

            “I’m honored that you asked. Sure, we can do something after school.” Julia pitched and missed. Her bags slid off the board.

            “Come on, Julia. You gotta do better. I don’t want to wake up tomorrow with a headache.”

            Joseph and Stephen pitched their bags, and it was Julia’s turn again “You guys are going down. I hate losing and losing getting drunk. No way.”

            “How were things on the ranch today, Joseph?” Lisa pitched her first bag.

            “They were fine, but we have a young calf with a bacterial infection over in the other barn. We had the vet out to give it antibiotics. Now, all we can do is watch and see if it takes. How were things at the school?”

            “They were okay; we had one little kid I think may be on the autism spectrum. I am going to suggest to his parents that we have him tested.” Lisa pitched her last bag.


            There was a terrible ruckus out in the cow pen. Joseph, Julia, and Stephen looked at each other and knew immediately what it was. Lisa was out of the loop.

            “Have you ever seen a baby calf be born?” Joseph grabbed Lisa’s hand and pulled her through the horse barn out into the cool night air and into the calving shed. There were lots of cows and newborn calves. The four walked along until they came to the cow that was in labor. Joseph put his hand on the cow’s stomach.

            “This calf is breech. … We need to help her. Stephen, grab some rope. You know where we keep it. Julia, your arm is long and slender. We are gonna have you put the rope around the calf’s hoof. Just tie the end in a loop, like this.” He demonstrated. “Now you reach in, Julia.”

            “I know how it’s done. I just don’t know why you think I need to do it. Have you ever seen the size of an erect bull?” Julia grabbed the rope from Stephen and got down on the ground and put her hand up the butt of the cow.

            “Do you got it, Julia? Do you have the calf’s feet?” Joseph was almost screaming at her.

            “Yeah, I’ve got it.” Julia was down on her knees.

            “Okay, Stephen. Let’s show these ladies how it’s done.” The two men sat down in the dirt and pulled the calf out. First, the back legs appeared, then then a little body, and finally a little head. The calf lay on the ground next to Joseph for a second and didn’t move.

            Julia said, “Damn it. I put my arm in a cow, and the calf dies.”

            Joseph grabbed the calf and gave it CPR of sorts. He held its mouth closed and blew into its nose as hard as he could. The calf started to move. Joseph stood up and grabbed the calf around the middle and helped the calf stand up.

            Julia sniffed her arm, “I am never gonna get this smell off.”

            The calf started to nurse, and Joseph clapped his hands together. He picked Lisa up around the waist and twirled her around. “Now you know why being on the ranch is so special. If you didn’t know before.”

            The four didn’t go back to the Cornhole game. They just sat in the barn and watched the baby nurse like it was the first time they had ever seen anything like it. It was the first time for Lisa.


Lisa grabbed the last of her boxes out of storage at the Thomson Family Ranch and moved them to the cottage down the road, then waited for Adam and Joseph to bring over her furniture.

I wonder if Joseph and I will have another one of those moments today. Another embrace. Another chance to hold each other. What was that all about? I want to know. I want to look at it. I want to dissect it and do it again, only better. But what did it mean? Was there a deeper meaning behind it? What kind of feelings did Joseph have for me? … Here they come.

“Hey guys, thanks for helping me out. I’m glad you came too, Chloe.”

“Hi, Miss Lisa. Daddy said I should come, that there might be a job that I could do.”

“Hey, it’s not a problem,” Adam said. Adam was young, with dark, curly hair poking out from under a John Deer hat, which set off his blue eyes. It made him look younger than he was.

“Where do you want this stuff?” Joseph asked.

“I thought I’d put the couch in front of the window right here. And the chair over between the dining room and the living room doorway.”

The couch was a light gray color and had big puffy pillows on it. The chair was yellow, with an abstract pillow that went on it.

“I don’t have a dining room set, so I was thinking I’d set it up as a library—get some Ikea bookshelves or get an Ikea dining room set, I don’t know. What do you guys think? Do you have any opinions, Joseph? Adam, what do you think? While I decide, we can go ahead and set the bed up in the bedroom. When we’re finished, I thought we could go into town for a beer and a sandwich at the tavern.”

“Ok, we can watch the game there,” Adam said.

They worked at a fever’s pace to get everything done in time so they could go to town and watch the Broncos game.

Lisa and Chloe started in the kitchen, unboxing and unwrapping all her dishes so they could be washed and put away. The two guys carried in all the furniture and boxes and put everything in the correct rooms, and then they put the bed frame together.

“I’m finished in the kitchen and the living room. Adam, I need some picture-hanging hardware stuff. Could you go to the hardware store and get that for me?” Lisa asked.

Adam cheerfully agreed to go. “Any excuse to go into town, and I’m all over it.”

“Chloe, would you go with him and make sure he comes right back?”

Chloe was very excited to be going with Uncle Adam and to be having some real grown-up responsibility.

“Well, I appreciate it very much. I forgot to get the hanging kit when I was there yesterday.”

The two left for town, and so Lisa successfully maneuvered the situation so she could talk to Joseph about that embrace last weekend and his current attitude toward her.

“Joseph, what happened last week? What was that all about?” Lisa asked as she lay across the bare mattress in her new bedroom. Joseph was putting together her makeup table. He stopped and looked at her in horror.

“Look. I do not ever want to talk about those few seconds ever.”

“I want to understand why you did it. I think I deserve at least that.”

“Are you really that naïve? Or are you that stupid?”

“I don’t know. I have never felt that way before. I have never had a man touch me like that. Your feelings—explain what’s going on.”

“I can’t get you out of my mind, and I can’t do anything about it. I’m still in love with my dead wife, and I have a daughter that I am very protective of.”

“Not that it matters, because I couldn’t do anything about it either. I can’t date a student’s parent. It would be unethical. But more to your situation—I would never try and replace your dead wife. I think the more you love, the more room you have for love. … Exactly what do you think I would do to Chloe, who I have already gotten quite close to?”

“Well, Lisa. It’s a good thing neither one of us has to worry about it,” Joseph said, hoping that would put an end to the whole conversation.

“Why did you grab me like that and hold me and look into my eyes with such intensity that I thought you could see right into my soul? Why did you get me so wrapped up? It does matter to me that you did it.”

“I was tired, and I just lost my self-control.”

“You need self-control to keep your hands off me? That’s hard to believe. In fact, I don’t believe it at all. We were about to kiss. That’s what we were about to do. …”

 Joseph grabbed Lisa by the shoulders again and looked into her in the eyes with that same intensity. “Lisa, you’re incredibly beautiful in your innocence. That makes you beautiful. You’re strong. That makes you beautiful. And you’re accomplished. That makes you beautiful. You are just incredibly sexy. I could also say it’s your auburn hair or your gorgeous green eyes, but it’s more than that. I think you’re sexy the way you are with Chloe, and then in an instant, you’re making Pop-Pop laugh. You are so special. But neither one of us can do anything about it. That’s that.”

“No, I can’t do anything about it. You can do something about it. You just choose not to.”

“It doesn’t make any difference. You can’t do anything about it if I choose.”

“You’re only my student’s father for another seven months.”

“This is a small town, and word is going to travel fast if we get caught, and we will get caught.”

“Let’s think about it. I have more to lose than you do. … What would we do about Chloe? It doesn’t feel right to keep a secret like this from her.”

“I don’t know if I have the courage for this.”

“We’ll tell everyone we’re just friends. That way we can see if we like each other enough to take it to the next level.”


Adam and Chloe arrived with the picture-hanging hardware. With the bedroom all set up, all that needed to be done was that the sheets and blankets needed to be put on the bed and the house would be livable.

“Someone said something about sandwiches at the tavern so we can watch the Broncos game for a while. I’m starving,” Joseph said.

“We’d better get your dad some food, don’t you think Chloe? Should we make him wait while I make the bed, or should we just go?” Lisa said teasingly.

“Let’s go. I’m hungry. I want wings.”

Everyone loaded into the pickup truck and headed for the Niwot Tavern. It was very busy, so they had to wait for a table in the bar. Adam and Joseph each had a beer, and Lisa and Chloe had Cokes.

They had just settled into their seats and gotten their drinks when a little blonde who was very drunk came over to the table, “You’ve got some balls coming back here and bringing your family. You don’t think I’m gonna tell them where you were the other night—after you helped that school teacher paint her house. That’s right, little girl, your daddy was fucking me. Or rather, fucking me over. You see, he came to my place to do the deed, and then Mr. High and Mighty decided he was too good for me and left me there with two open cans of beer,” Heather spoke in a slurred montage.

The manager came over and apologized, “Someone get her outa here. … Heather, you can’t come back here to drink anymore.”

Lisa looked shocked but didn’t say anything.

Chloe said, “Is that where you went when we couldn’t find you after you painted Miss Lisa’s house? What is fucked?”

Adam said, “Man who Heather WOW! You must have been drunk. I won’t tell Dad. Chloe, you don’t tell anyone either, okay? This needs to be a secret.”

Joseph just sat there in total disbelief. “Man, I’m really embarrassed I’m sorry you just witnessed that tirade. Hey, Chloe let’s not mention it at the house, okay?”

“I’ll get him something a little stronger to drink,” Lisa suggested, as she left for the bar. When she came back, she was clutching a Shirley Temple and three shots of Jack Daniels.

“Word at the bar is she’s not through with you. You got her thrown out of the bar where she likes to drink. Now you’ve made an enemy,” Lisa said.

“Oh, everyone in this bar saw. By the time we get home, Mom and Dad are gonna know what happened,” Joseph buried his head in his hands. “At least she won’t be able to do another one of these surprises.”

The food came, and everyone ate and enjoyed themselves as much as they could. Chloe chattered away about Halloween, which was coming up, and Joseph and Lisa sat quietly listening to her exuberance. Adam was totally into the game. Finally, the food was gone, the game was over, and it was time to go home.

Joseph drove with Lisa sitting next to him and Chloe and Adam in the back seat. I have to talk to her again. I have to know what she thinks? How does she feel now that she knows about Heather? I have to explain Heather and my mother’s matchmaking. I’m not sure that Lisa will understand, but I have to try.

Lisa said, “I always hate the first night by myself in a new place. All the strange noises that you have to get used to.” She was hoping that Joseph might pick up on her hint and come by and keep her company.

When Lisa got out of the truck, she reminded Joseph that he was on the Harvest Festival committee and they had a meeting tomorrow after school.


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Twelve Signs Writing is Your Vocation

Writing is a sacred calling that pulls at your soul. Writing is a way of life. Isac Asimov said that writing was simply thinking through his fingers. Writing it pulls at me in the morning. It whispers my name long before the first light. It is in these hours that I know my vocation is to be a writer. Not a suffering writer but a joyful writer thankful that I have found a vocation in my life before I was too old to do anything about it. How do you know if you have the vocation check these out and see how many of them fit you?

  1. Daydreamers, writers are often daydreamers on an epic scale. It’s that exercise of the imagination that is important. So do you daydream?
  2. Was writing a childhood passion. Many times writers began their writing careers as children. I began my writing career by dictating my story to my aunt who wrote the story down for me I then illustrated it and we glued it together with flour and water paste. I was 4.
  3. Reading is a forever hobby. I didn’t learn to read I’m a reader. I read as much as my eyes will let me and then I listen to audiobooks. Reading is a way to learn new words and see how someone else puts them together. It gives you a chance to stretch your imagination.
  4. No writing glory no problem. If this is your vocation you aren’t in it for the money, or the fame, or the accolades. You do it because you have to write.
  5. Do you can’t stop writing once you start, or if you can’t stop writing journals because you have too many to choose from. You finish one journal and you get another one right away, so you don’t skip a day?
  6. Do you have a story you can’t help but tell and you have ten stories to tell writing may be your vocation?
  7. Do you believe Virginia Woolf when she said you need five hundred dollars and a room of your own to write so you’ve been making your own writing space since you were seven and now you’re twenty-five and you have a good job that lets you write after work regularly? You’ve planned your life around your writing.
  8. Do you hear a word and can figure out the meaning from the context, but you want to know the exact meaning, and if you find the exact right word to use while writing you consider that a good day. Then you might have writing as your sacred calling?
  9. Do you enjoy a good game of Monopoly, but go gaga over a game of Scrabble?
  10. Do you make time for writing even with a hectic schedule, and when you write do you lose track of time?

These are the signs that make you a kindred spirit with Jane Austin, Shakespeare, and Stephen King. The answer yes to these questions means that you have a vocation as a writer. God bless you it means that you are willing to make sacrifices to write. To write poems, and short stories, screenplays, and novels you are a writer you write blogs and you write magazine articles. You write in journals and notebooks and on the backs of napkins. Congratulations you are among the rare but don’t write for the adulation write for the joy of it.

If you liked this content please don’t hesitate to join my newsletter and receive monthly content and right now you’ll receive a short novella also.



What To Do While You Wait for Your Writing Goals to Come True

Originally published on September 7, 2021

Setting goals makes me feel better than a therapist and three bottles of antidepressants ever could. I mean literally and scientifically. Setting goals makes us feel positive about the future it’s important for our happiness.

Goals are a way we can turn our values and dreams into reality. Happiness doesn’t just happen it comes from thinking, planning, and pursuing things that are important to us. Research shows that setting goals can contribute to happiness in various ways

  • Being a source of interest, engagement, or pleasure
  • Giving us a sense of purpose
  • Bringing a sense of accomplishment

Goals help focus our attention.

Goals are most successful when they’re something we want to achieve and when we set for ourselves.

When I set goals, I allow myself to dream big. I visualize myself accomplishing my biggest dreams, and then I put my idea to work. So, as I wait for the Big dream goals to come true here are some things you can do to make the time go by faster and keep yourself engaged in your dream.

  1. Make a plan with a clear sequence of steps. Writing goals do not come true overnight and will remain unfulfilled until you make a plan to fulfill that dream.
  2. Identify helpful resources and systems. One of the easiest ways to begin fulfilling your dream is finding reaching out to support systems and resources like professional organizations that you might consider of which you might consider becoming a member.
  3. Set a timeline to review your goals progress. There is no set-in-stone deadline for checking in with yourself or how you choose to check-in. But I do suggest early and often rather than late and rarely that way you can make adjustments as needed. If you are writing a novel you may want to check your word count daily but your editorial page counts weekly. If your goal is to grow your blog you may want to check that quarterly.
  4. Establish a system of evaluation. You need a system to evaluate your self will you check in with a friend or mentor? Will you just look at your statistics and see where things are? Whichever you choose just remember celebrating with a friend makes the victory twice as sweet.
  5. Be active in the writing community. Being active in the writing community can mean any number of things. It should include belonging to one of any number of professional writing associations. It can also include attending write-ins and critique groups.
  6. Celebrate progress and accomplishments. Big dreams are made of small accomplishments and we need to celebrate those small victories when they happen. Otherwise, it could be a long slog to your dream.
  7. Reevaluate and set new writing goals. You can have more than one writing goal. While you wait to make the New York Times Best Seller List have another goal being published in the New Yorker.
  8. Be gentle with yourself as you go.


hey guys,,

Yes, The Cowboy’s Secondhand Heart will go live on September 6th but will be available to ARC readers and my Street Team on August 12th. I am so excited.

ARC readers need only read the book and leave an honest review of the book. within 24 hours of the go-live date.

Street Team members help me hype the book by putting it on their blog or mentioning it in their newsletter or whatever. Keep in mind that I will return the favor when you have a book go live. You will also leave me an Amazon review.

If you’re interested in helping me out just leave a message in the message box below.

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Writer’s Notebooks;

Why You Should Have One

A writer’s notebook is a blank book where a writer can engage in the fun often the messy job of being a writer practicing, listening, playing with language, and gathering images and insights and ideas. The purpose of such a notebook is to nourish the writer. It’s a place to write about small things. A place to practice writing strategies. A place to experiment and take risks. A place to set goals and work to meet them.

Tips for Keeping a Writing Notebook

  • Make it your own. Make your own writing routine, and let your notebook be whatever you want it to be.
  • Keep your notebook handy. Your notebook is only as good as it is available it’s no use if you have an idea and your notebook is nowhere to be found.
  • Get messy. Your notebook should be a place where you don’t worry about what ideas are and what aren’t.

Ideas For Your Notebook

  1. Free write
  2. Rewrite
  3. Journal
  4. Take notes
  5. Draft blog posts
  6. Sketch
  7. Study
  8. Get to know your characters
  9. Keep a list of novel and short story ideas
  10. Record names you like
  11. Consider your eventual marketing plan
  12. Collect reference photos that inspire you
  13. Practice writing prompts
  14. Write morning pages
  15. Gather information that could be useful to your career

That’s a good list of reasons to keep a writer’s notebook. It’s a pretty good idea even if you only used two of the ideas in this list. There is one more good reason to have a writer’s notebook that’s not listed here: to get stuff out of your head so you have more room to create. That’s why I have a writer’s notebook and calendar with a to-do list on it. It keeps my mind open for doing creative thinking, and that is the kind of thinking that I want to do.

If you can think of other reasons to have a writer’s notebook or if you use your notebook for something not on the list, please share it with us in the comment section. It would be great if we could learn from each other.




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  • Have the main character of your last novel introduce you to our readers.

Hi, I’m Adam Lehmann, former cop and bar bouncer and, uh, [looks around nervously, then lowers voice] current alpha-phase cyborg. Look, Ava Cuvay said I could trust you, but I’m still cautious with that tidbit. Cyborgs aren’t very popular in my world, and keeping the details of my… uh, cybernetic condition… to myself is basic self-preservation. You all might be cyborg sympathizers, but I’m an old dog and talking openly about it is a new trick. I’d blame Ava for creating that fucked-up world, but she also introduced me to the woman I love, Eve Myer. Plus, Ava is a best-selling, award-winning sci-fi romance author… so I guess she can’t really help herself. Honestly, she’d throw the blame back in my face, claiming she just listens to what her characters tell her. She once admitted that Eve and I jumped in the sack way before we were meant to, not that I’m complaining. Yeah, so Ava might be a bit sadistic toward her characters, but she makes the end worth it. I wouldn’t change a thing as long as I get to keep Eve in my arms… the organic one *and* the cyborg one.

  • Without giving us spoilers introduce your latest and greatest novel or work in progress and let us know which it is and if it’s a WIP let us know when it goes live.

My current WIP is “Tin Toy,” the second book in my Silver Cyborg series, a slightly-futuristic (150+ years) Sci-fi Romance series set in my stomping grounds of Indianapolis, Indiana (“Tin Man” is the first book, featuring my surly former-cop character Adam, who so nicely *cough!*cough!*side-eye* introduced me). “Tin Toy” is the story of Betty, a forty-something cyborg-spy-turned-librarian. She looks like a pin-up model, kisses like an angel, and fights like a trained assassin. I’m still only about half way through the story, so don’t have a go-live date on it yet (crossing fingers by the end of Summer!).

  • What do you like best about your main character in your latest and greatest or WIP from above?

I love that Betty has been around the block, seen and done horrible things, but it hasn’t stripped her of her kindness. She might be once bitten, twice shy, (to which, she’d respond, “Oh, honey. I’ve been bitten so many times by life, I’m practically a chew toy at this point.”), but she’s not bitter. Neither is she a pushover. She kicks ass, and does it with a perfect Customer Service smile in place.

  • Tell us a little about one of your side characters from your latest and greatest or WIP?

“Tin Man” has an automaton bartender that works with Adam, named Arthur (or “Artie,” as the public calls robots). As 100% automech, it is a nice counter-point to Adam, who struggles with the synthesis of his organic and cybernetic parts. Arthur was fun to write. It had been vandalized by bar patrons with black markers, much like the poor guy who passes out first at a fraternity party. And the bar owner just went with it, dressing Arthur in costumes such as pirate and Shakespearean fop. Arthur even makes a bet with Adam, for a new hat. J

  • How did you come up with your idea for the above story?

“Tin Man” began with my desire to write something more earth-side, so I wouldn’t have to do so much world-building (joke was on me: there was still a ton of world-building! Lol!), and wanting to pursue the question of how society might react to the introduction of cyborgs. Would society accept people who were part machine as readily as they would a fancy toaster? The answer is Oh Hell No, because distrust of AI and machines are a common Sci-fi trope. And also because it makes for a far more interesting story when there’s this much tension.

  • What was your writing plan for this book or WIP?

HAHAHA! Plan?? We don’t need no plan!

Lol. I’m kidding. Kind of. Most of my stories (“Tin Man” and “Tin Toy” included) start with a vague idea, and then I usually let the characters take it from there. Which often leads us into some interesting areas and any plans I might have made usually get chucked out the window. Adam was correct: he and Eve got intimate way before I had planned, and it was like “Oh, wow… we’re doing this *now*? Uh, um, ok.”

  • How do you handle writers block?

If I’m just not feeling it, sometimes I bully through the section to get to the next section, and hope when I go back I’ll be more inclined to make it jazzy and awesome. Sometimes—and sadly this last year has been “one” of those times—I just have to walk away for a bit and wait for the muse to get her sh*t together. In those cases, it’s equally as frustrating to be writing as it is to NOT be writing. Not a good place for an author to be in. L

  • Do you have a secret writing ritual and what is it?

Unfortunately, I don’t have a writing ritual, which would probably help with my aforementioned muse issue. What I *do* have is two active teens, a hubby who likes to talk to me, a full time job, organizations I have been suckered into volunteer for, and an aging aunt I’m taking care of from a state away… it makes for a roller coaster lifestyle at the moment, which is awesome even though my writing opportunities are more random as a result.

  • What is your writing snack?

Whatever is in the fridge, which is usually requires cooking and is therefore usually disappointing. But if I could choose anything, I’d say a balance of savory and sweet… Twizzlers, bacon, chocolate, kettle cooked chips, and Sour Patch kids.

  • What do you do when you’re not writing?

I work full time as a Substitute Teacher, and I have two active teens. And if that wasn’t enough, I’m Treasurer for the Futuristic, Fantasy, and Paranormal RWA chapter and a local lacrosse organization. AND anxiously await the next season of The Mandalorian.

  • What is your favorite season and why?

Summer, because then I have way more free time to write. Otherwise, I’d say Lacrosse Season because most of the family is involved one way or another in the sport.

  • What is your favorite genre to read and what do you like about it?

Other than the over-arching genre of “Romance,” I don’t have a favorite. I read it all. Naturally, I lean toward Sci-fi or paranormal, but I also love a great contemporary, historical, male/male, reverse harem, various heat levels… if it’s a good story with engaging characters, I want to read it!

  • Do you have a writer mission statement? What is it?

Sorry, no mission statement. That would involve me being very organized. Lol!

  • What do you spend your music so you listen to when you write? How does it help to put you in the mood?

I can only listen to music if hubby is not home, because he always has the TV on for background noise. If I do listen to music, it’s often basic non-descript “white noise.” The summer of quarantine, I listened to a lot of relaxing yoga and hand drum music which had no lyrics or even a beat. I also got turned on to BTS, a popular Korean group, which was great because I couldn’t understand many of the lyrics.


June is full of hope and new beginnings what do you hope spring brings you?

I hope I can finish both the “Tin Toy” book and the second book in my Star of the North Dragons series this Summer! (So, not really a new beginning, but an ending… which would lead to new beginnings of with the next books in the series)




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  • Have the main character of your last novel introduce you to our readers?

My name is Joseph I’m a widower with a five-year-old. Billie Daddario is quite imaginative and has really put me through the wringer as a character in her story. She introduces me to the person I want to grow old with. The person I want to raise my child with, but of course, she can’t let me realize that right off the bat.

Billie writes it so that I do something rash and go drinking with the least stable person in the county. The result is that when I come to my senses and reject her. She doesn’t take it well and she ends up doing horrible things to the woman I love.

Billie is a good person though; she gave me the happiest ending.

  • Without giving us spoilers introduce your latest and greatest novel or work in progress and let us know which it is and if it’s a WIP let us know when it goes live.

My latest novel is The Cowboy’s Secondhand Heart. It goes live on September 6th. It’s a beautiful story about redemption and how important it is to be redeemed. Our hero is redeemed and our antagonist has never had redemption.

The book is also a romance so eventually, the Hero and Heroine fall in love after they earn it. Their lives are complicated so they overcome they rise to the occasion.

  • What do you like best about your main character in your latest and greatest or WIP from above?

The main character in this book is Joseph and seeing the love unfold from the making perspective is wonderful. He has a steadfastness that takes a minute to develop but once it does it’s beautiful.

  • Tell us a little about one of your side characters from your latest and greatest or WIP?
Dania Voss

You need to know about Heather. Heather is our Antagonist. She is a very disturbed individual who may have gotten away with murder in the past and maybe plotting it again.

  • How did you come up with your idea for the above story?

My stories more or less just fall onto the page one word after the other. I do a character sketch and decide what I want to happen generally and then I just start to write and it comes to me the words just fall onto the laptop. Usually, the bool I am working on now does not work like that. sexy santa claus guy on black background
  • What was your writing plan for this book or WIP?

My writing plan for this book was to put my butt in the chair and write. I had very few distractions It was my third book and I loved writing so there was no drudgery in it. It took me about a month to get the first draft done. I don’t plot ahead of time. I just write.

  • How do you handle writers’ block?

I didn’t suffer from writer’s block while writing The Cowboy’s Secondhand Heart, but I did suffer from writers’ block while writing my next book. I got out of the habit of writing every day and I just struggle with it now. But the answer is to sit down and start writing and what you need will come to you.

  • Do you have a secret writing ritual and what is it?

I believe in rituals to get you ready to do things that are special and I believe that writing is incredibly special. So, you think I would have rituals that are mystical or special. But No. I don’t have a particularly special ritual I wake up take the dog out, watch the local news,  drink a cup of coffee, and then I turn on some bosa nova jazz and become a writer.

I take care of writer business and then I write.

secrets, scandals, and seduction
  • What is your writing snack?

I like M&Ms

  • What do you do when you’re not writing?

When I’m not writing I watch TV I watch a broad spectrum of weird stuff. I’m hooked on Time Team and the Murdoch Mysteries and I am a sucker for old movies.

  • What is your favorite season and why?

I love summer and late spring when it’s warm and the flowers in the garden are all in bloom before it gets too hot.

  • What is your favorite genre to read and what do you like about it?

I like romance novels but I’m a snob I like the classic old romance novels I love Jane Eyre and Sense and Sensibility. But I hated Wuthering Heights I thought Heath Cliff should have been pushed down the stairs. He had no redeemable qualities.

  • Do you have a writer’s mission statement? What is it?

My mission statement is to take my readers somewhere they haven’t been before and make them care about the characters and give them a happy ending eventually.

  • What do listen to when you write? How does it help to put you in the mood?

I listen to Bosa Nova Jazz with no words. I don’t know that it puts me in the mood for writing a specific book but like Pavlov’s dog, I hear the music and know it’s time to write. I do have Spotify music lists for each couple giving me something to listen to when I edit.


What is your favorite vacation and why?

As a child we took family vacations to California to visit relatives we drove cross country from Colorado to California. I loved those trips to see my cousins and my aunt and uncle. Sometimes we would drive straight through I remember staying up all night talking with my father coming over the hill and seeing Las Vegas at night all the lights and the heat even at night. I remember one year we had three flat tires. Coming from Green River to Bakers Field. Then when we would get to my aunt and uncle’s house it would be loud and there would be so many hugs. I remember the hugs and the conversation going in every direction. My Aunt would hold conversations with four people at the same time and not skip a beat and not ignore anyone she made everyone feel special. I would give anything for one more road trip with my dad to see my aunt.



  • Have the main character of your last novel introduce you to our readers.

Introducing Evelyn Sola, queen of the writers.

  • Without giving us spoilers introduce your latest and greatest novel or work in progress and let us know which it is and if it’s a WIP let us know when it goes live.

I am working on Takeoff. It’s the third novel in the Take series. The other books are Takeover, Takedown, and Takeoff. I don’t have a release date yet for the last book, but I’m hoping for June. It’s with the editor right now.

  • What do you like best about your main character in your latest and greatest or WIP from above?

I like how the male main character does not take himself too seriously. He’s kind of silly and fun. The heroine doesn’t know how to take him sometimes due to the ridiculous things he says and does.

  • Tell us a little about one of your side characters from your latest and greatest or WIP?

Two of my main characters were the main characters in Takeover. Most of the other side characters were in previous books, so I already know them. They were easy to write, but I did introduce the hero’s family in this book, and it’s always fun drafting new people. I think that’s my favorite part of writing, creating characters and giving them a backstory.

  • How did you come up with your idea for the above story?

Like I said, they were side characters in Takeover. I didn’t really intend to write their story. I just threw them in. The heroine in this book is the sister to my heroine in Takeover. The main characters in Takeoff met in that book, and they had a lot of chemistry. He was interested right away, and she shut him down. Readers have been asking for their story ever since.

  • What was your writing plan for this book or WIP?

I never really have much of an outline. I always have my trope and I go from there. My plan for every book is the same. I want to keep the readers turning those pages. I want them to feel something toward the main characters, whether it’s love, anger, or rage. As long as readers are not bored, they will keep reading. I also want to make people laugh, so I do my best to throw in humor where I can.

  • How do you handle writer’s block?

I take a day or two off from writing. I’ll also read the story again from the beginning and start my self-edits. That usually will give me ideas on how to keep it going.

  • Do you have a secret writing ritual and what is it?

No. I just start typing and see what comes out. I can always edit or delete it if it’s not good.

  • What is your writing snack?

No particular thing. It’s whatever is available to me at the moment.

  • What do you do when you’re not writing?

I have a husband and two daughters. I spend as much time with them as possible. I also love to travel, even though Covid has put a stop to that.

  • What is your favorite season and why?

Summer. I love the heat, and I love the beach.

  • What is your favorite genre to read and what do you like about it?

I love contemporary romance. Sometimes I take a break from reading it, but I always come back. I love to read about a couple’s journey to their happily ever after, and I love a happy ending.

  • Do you have a writer’s mission statement? What is it?

I don’t, but it’s a good idea. My goal is always to entertain.

  • What do you spend your music so you listen to when you write? How does it help to put you in the mood?

I don’t listen to music while I write. I usually have The Office on in the background or the ID channel. Sometimes Dateline.


May is full of hope and new beginnings what do you hope spring brings you?

I hope May brings me lots of fresh ideas for books and more hours in the day to write them.




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  • Have the main character of your last novel introduce you to our readers.

“Hi everyone. My name’s Alice and I’m so excited to see you here today. I’m going to introduce you to our main speaker today, but first, let me tell you something about her. Ms. Alber, or Kay as I call her, well—we’ve known each other for a long time. She’s been in my head a few times and I know at night I’m sure in hers. She writes Romantic Suspense, which means she’ll be loading guns, driving fast cars, and maybe even have a someone stolen in this book of hers. Anyway—she’s really laid back and a great listener. So here she is—Miss Kay herself, ready to meet y’all in person. Ta-da.”

  • Without giving us spoilers introduce your latest and greatest novel or work in progress and let us know which it is and if it’s a WIP let us know when it goes live.?
  • My stories are about women and their troubles and misfortunes combined with romance. “A Deadly Promise” is no exception. It is at my editor’s right now getting the last read and then it will be published May 1st. Next month. Yay!
  • What do you like best about your main character in your latest and greatest or WIP from above?

I modeled my main character Alice, in this next book, after someone I knew in real life. I love her character in this book and especially love the defiance she portrays that will get her into trouble. She has a special willpower to try and make things better, but sometimes women need to stand their ground, and sometimes—they just don’t know how to do that. That could be Alice.

  • Tell us a little about one of your side characters from your latest and greatest or WIP?

There’s Anne who grows up from a teenager, as the series progresses. She is Cassie’s sister, from book #1, but has a part in every book thereafter. She’s a tall beauty with a sassy personality. She knows every answer about any question whether she’s asked or not.

  • How did you come up with your idea for the above story?

Anne’s character came about from my own sister’s antics and even though Anne’s a secondary character in books #1 and #2, she makes an impression on everyone she meets.

  • What was your writing plan for this book or WIP?

My original plan was to have this book out before Covid hit. But unfortunately, everything in my life must be good when I write and during Covid, my daughter who has recurring cancer, had to have a couple of stage four surgeries, so I stopped writing until she got better.

  • How do you handle writers block?

I can’t write if everything is not fantastic in my life. I don’t handle writer’s block well, but I know when it happens, that things WILL get better, and so the stopping period doesn’t last long.

  • Do you have a secret writing ritual and what is it?

Writing comes to me in the middle of the night. I absolutely love the quiet at that time, along with a cup of espresso plus milk. I am a middle of the night person, but I also love to chat in the mornings—especially about what I just wrote.

  • What is your writing snack?

I love dark chocolate or just anything chocolate when I write.

  • What do you do when you’re not writing?

As an avid traveler, I take off either abroad or across country to visit family and friends. I am also a dedicated animal lover. So, I belong to a couple of rescue groups, who rescue seniors and save dogs from puppy mills. In fact, I love animals so much—I always have an animal or two in my stories.

  • What is your favorite season and why?

Autumn is my favorite season. Fall foliage, the crunching of falling leaves, and the nippy weather.

  • What is your favorite genre to read and what do you like about it?

Mysteries are my favorite genre to read. Anything that keeps me dangling until the last page and especially when I can’t guess how the ending will turn out.

  • Do you have a writer mission statement? What is it?

Keep writing—writer’s block or not. If writing is a passion, follow through with it. I started writing late in life, after years of teaching abroad—and to this day, I swear I will continue writing until I tell every character’s story.

  • What do you spend your music so you listen to when you write? How does it help to put y ou in the mood?

I don’t use music while I write, but if I did—it would be operatic songs. Especially Andrea Bocelli. Now when I exercise, I listen to Heavy Metal and the heavier the better.


What is your favorite silver lining moment? ie bad situation that turned out great.

Rushing to get things done, used to be my way of life. Since my daughter has had recurring cancer, I have learned from her, to take each day as a blessing. To enjoy what’s around me. To have happy conversations with people, and to be a good listener.





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  • Have the main character of your last novel introduce you to our readers.

Honey writes sweet and steamy tales about hot alien warriors, true love, and the joy of found family.

  • Without giving us spoilers introduce your latest and greatest novel or work in progress and let us know which it is and if it’s a WIP let us know when it goes live.

My next novel is A Gift for the Alien Warrior, coming May 8th. It’s the story of a former alien warrior who rescues a human woman and a baby from an abandoned spaceship – only to discover that the woman doesn’t remember anything about herself or how she ended up on the ship. Or why there’s a body on the ship!

  • What do you like best about your main character in your latest and greatest or WIP from above?

The hero, Taranov, is the captain of a trading ship who left his dying planet knowing that he would never have a family. What I love about him is that he’s so honorable and protective of both Wendy and the baby. He (and his tail!) would do anything for them. He may not always make the best decisions, but he believes he is doing the right thing.

  • Tell us a little about one of your side characters from your latest and greatest or WIP?

Curall is a crusty older male, part of Taranov’s crew. He’s a little rough around the edges, but he takes great pleasure in feeding and caring for the crew – and he turns out to be quite an expert on babies!

  • How did you come up with your idea for the above story?

The Treasured by the Alien series is based on two main ideas. The first is that older women can also have fun, sexy adventures in space! The second is that family is where you find it – and that babies and children and crusty old cooks can all be part of your family.

For this particular story, I was interested in the idea of amnesia, and how much not remembering your past affects who you are as a person. Wendy’s lack of memory contrasts with Taranov, who remembers all too much.

  • What was your writing plan for this book or WIP?

Start at the beginning and write until I reached the end! More seriously, I do tend to start with the initial scene and let the story unfold from there. In this case, I started with a picture of Taranov finding the luxury space yacht “floating” in space. I knew that Wendy would not remember what had happened and that there was a baby on board.

  • How do you handle writers block?

I really dislike that term! Generally, if a story isn’t coming together for me, it needs some more time for my subconscious to work on it. In that case, I might try writing something else for a while. If that doesn’t work, I find that sitting down with a notebook and writing out questions to myself usually results in answers that lead me to the next part of the book.

  • Do you have a secret writing ritual and what is it?

Weather permitting, I love to sit in our hot tub and dictate. It’s quiet and private, and I find being surrounded by water very inspirational.

  • What is your writing snack?

When I’m really focused on a book, I don’t pay much attention to food. But, depending on the time of day, I usually have a cup of coffee or a glass of sparkling water close at hand. And maybe a glass of champagne in the evening!

  • What do you do when you’re not writing?

I love to read – of course! – but I also really enjoy cooking. My husband and I also love to travel. That’s been limited for the past few years, but we have a big trip planned for this summer and I can’t wait!

  • What is your favorite season and why?

Honestly, I enjoy all of them – although some of them for shorter periods than others! For example, I love to see it snow, but I’m glad I don’t live somewhere where it snows for six months out of the year. If I absolutely have to choose, I would go for fall in New England – warm days, cool nights, and amazing fall colors everywhere!

  • What is your favorite genre to read and what do you like about it?

I love science fiction romance, which is why I write it. I love the exploration of new places and new ideas which is so intrinsic to science fiction, but I also really enjoy the exploration of character which is part of a good romance. For me, it’s the best of both worlds!

  • Do you have a writer’s mission statement? What is it?

I simply want readers to enjoy my books – to explore a new place with characters they can care about, and to close the book with a smile on their face.

  • What do you spend your music so you listen to when you write? How does it help to put you in the mood?

I prefer silence – if I have songs playing, I want to sing along. (And no one needs to hear that!)


What is your favorite silver lining moment? i.e., bad situation that turned out great.

I spent many years working for my previous company. I believed in the company and I enjoyed the people that I worked with. I was still working there when I began my writing journey and I didn’t mind juggling both jobs, even as my author career took off. But the company expanded and I no longer enjoyed my corporate job. I struggled with the decision for quite a while, but in the spring of 2021 my unhappiness finally pushed me into quitting.

The silver lining is that I am now a full-time author and I’ve never been happier!




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