YASH is Here!

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

Team Purple

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are FOUR contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the PURPLE TEAM–but there is also a red team, a gold team, and a blue team for a chance to win a whole different set of books!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE
 
Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the PURPLE team, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).
 
Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.
Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by Sunday April 5, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
SCAVENGER HUNT POST
Today, I am hosting Breeanna Shields on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt!
Breeana Shields is an author of fantasy novels for teens including The Bone Charmer duology (Page Street), the Poison’s Kiss duology (Random House BFYR), and The Splendor (coming in fall 2021 from Page Street).
When she’s not writing, Breeana loves reading, traveling, and playing board games with her extremely competitive family. She lives near Washington D.C. with her husband, her three children, and two adorable, but spoiled dogs.
Find out more information by checking out the author website or find more about the author’s book here!
EXCLUSIVE CONTENT
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A deft exploration of the weight of grief and cost of revenge, Breeana Shields’s Bone Charmer duology reaches its spine-tingling conclusion in this high-octane fantasy-thriller.

Breeana is sharing a special writing playlist:

Deep Focus Playlist for Writing

I’ve never been able to write to music with lyrics. I find it too distracting. However, music is still an important part of my process in several ways. First, it’s incredibly helpful before I begin a new book—when I’m still daydreaming about the story and trying to find the heart of it. Or—once I’ve begun—when I’m hopelessly stuck and need to take some time to figure out what comes next. Before starting a new project, I make a playlist and listen during non-working times–while I’m driving, cooking, or doing anything else that leaves my mind free to wander. It helps channel my thoughts toward the book, and I’ve untangled many thorny plot issues with the aid of Spotify and a little downtime.

But while I’m actually drafting, I either write in silence, or listen to something inspiring without lyrics—the kind of music that can both set the mood and fade into the background so it doesn’t interfere with my concentration.

So today, instead of sharing a playlist for the book, I want to share my ultimate deep focus playlist—music I find helpful while I’m actually writing. All of these songs provided relaxing and/or inspiring background noise that helped me focus while I wrote THE BONE CHARMER duology. I hope you enjoy!

 Deep Focus Playlist for Writing

Song for Rome by Brain Crain

Time by Hans Zimmer

Pastorale, Songs from a Secret Garden, by Rolf Lovland

Moonlit Shore by Brain Crain

Flight by Hans Zimmer

Adagio by Rolf Lovland

Dream of Flying by Brain Crain

The Approaching Night by Phillip Wesley

Embrasse-Moi by Ernesto Cortazar

The Windmills of Your Mind by George Skaroulis

Isles of Shoals by Tim Janis

Ballet of the Little Café by Brian Crain

Where Butterflies Dance by Ann Sweeten

We Should Waltz by Kevin Kern

 Breeana Shields

Author of YA fantasy

The Bone Charmer duology available now from Page Street

Poison’s Kiss duology available now from Random House

The Splendor hits shelves Fall 2021

Website: http://www.breeanashields.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BreeanaShields

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/breeanashields/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/breeanashieldsauthor/

And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me, Debbie Manber Kupfer, and more!

To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is  42
Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the purple team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!
CONTINUE THE HUNT
 
To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author!

Bonus! I’m running a Rafflecopter with oodles of ways to win. The grand prize winner wins a box set of books 1 through 3 of the P.A.W.S. Saga in audio or ebook. Plus everyone who signs up for my newsletter picks up a free copy of Tales from P.A.W.S.

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And one more thing before you go. If you like shifters of all shapes and kinds check out my P.A.W.S. Saga  available in Amazon in ebook, paperback and audiobook and free to subscribers of Kindle Unlimited.
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YASH is coming!

Hey folks! It’s that time again. The YA Scavenger Hunt will start on September 29th on this blog, or to make sure you don’t miss out, you can head over to the YA Scavenger Hunt page, scroll down, and sign up for notifications with your email on the right.

Sadly this is the last YASH as the awesome hunt is being retired, so be sure you visit all the participating blogs for a chance to win oodles of prizes. I’m going to be on the purple team. Look at all those awesome books!

New to the YA Scavenger Hunt?

That’s totally fine. We have a YouTube video that explains the process and we will be checking in on the YASH website during the hunt to answer any and all questions you might have.

Need something fun to read in the meantime? Check out these awesome promos over at Story Origin:

Picture Book Sale!

Hi everyone, I’ve got a treat for you today. Three of my titles are currently on sale. First off for just 99 cents we have the story of a silly clown called THE GREAT BOBBERT and his wily assistant the weasel, Popgoes.

Pick up a copy on Kindle for just 99 cents plus add a free audio book narrated by George Sirois from Story Origin.

Next up my kitty story Cecilia’s Tale with illustrations by Victoria Szulc is on sale everywhere for just 99 cents in ebook. Plus add a free audio book narrated by Fiona Thraille from Story Origin.

Lastly my latest picture book release, WANDA’S WAND is FREE today on Kindle. Illustrated by Tina Wijesiri the book takes us through the silly tale of little Wanda Wizzlewoop and her cat, Whiskey. Audio book also available on Story Origin.

Want more? Check it out these two promos over at Story Origin:

Book Lovers Unite for World Suicide Prevention Day 2020

September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day. Authors, readers, and bloggers are uniting again his year to fight stigma, spread mental health awareness, and support the prevention of suicide. To encourage participation, we’re giving away a $50 Amazon gift card and a Book Lovers Unite for World Suicide Prevention Day t-shirt to one lucky winner.

Two kinds of stigma continue to persist: public stigma and self-stigma. Public stigma occurs when other people view a person with a mental illness in a negative way. Public stigma feeds into self-stigma when people with mental illness internalize the negative talk they hear from others.

Well-meaning people say things like, “Suck it up,” “Choose to be happy,” “Turn that frown upside down,” or “Focus on your blessings,” as if mental illness were a mood, a frame of mind, or an attitude that can simply be overcome at will.

Often, people who suffer from mental illness blame themselves instead of seeking help. Just as a diabetic needs insulin, a person with mental illness may need treatment.

People who contemplate suicide don’t want to die; they just can’t fathom how to live because they are so miserable. They can’t see past their pain and misery, and they see no point in going on.

According to the International Association for Suicide Prevention, “Every year, suicide is among the top 20 leading causes of death globally for people of all ages. It is responsible for over 800,000 deaths, which equates to one suicide every 40 seconds.”

IASP explains that “[e]very life lost represents someone’s partner, child, parent, friend or colleague. For each suicide approximately 135 people suffer intense grief or are otherwise affected. This amounts to 108 million people per year who are profoundly impacted by suicidal behaviour. Suicidal behaviour includes suicide, and also encompases suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. For every suicide, 25 people make a suicide attempt and many more have serious thoughts of suicide.”

If you’re contemplating suicide, please don’t do it! Instead, seek help. You might be suffering now, but you never know what tomorrow brings. Reach out to a friend or family member. See a doctor. If that doctor doesn’t help, try another. Please don’t give up.

If you’re in crisis, please reach out to the toll-free hotline in your region. You can find your hotline here: https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/.

If you are grieving the death of a victim of suicide and need help, here are resources that can help: https://www.iasp.info/resources/Postvention/National_Suicide_Survivor_Organizations/.

If you suspect that someone you know may be contemplating suicide, please reach out. We often hesitate because we’re afraid we might make things worse by saying the wrong thing. According to IASP, “Evidence suggests that this is not the case. The offer of support and a listening ear are more likely to reduce distress, as opposed to exacerbating it.”

Warning signs to look for include severe anxiety, agitation, hopelessness, rage, feelings of being trapped, a strong urge for vengeance, engaging in risky activities, excessive alcohol and/or drug use, withdrawing from people, trouble sleeping, and dramatic mood changes.

Click to Tweet: Mental illness isn’t a personality flaw; it’s an illness that comes on through no fault of the individual who suffers with it. Mental illness is treatable and suicide is preventable. #WSPD

LIZ’S STORY

For my personal section of this blog I want to highlight a very special memoir I edited a few years ago from the wonderfully courageous Elizabeth Biermann.

Her memoir focuses on  healing from childhood sexual abuse. The time she spent healing from sexual abuse was not without struggle and yet she considers her journey fairly typical. This has allowed her to look back at her life with peace and move forward with strength and pride. Elizabeth believes it is through speaking out and through awareness that change will come. With awareness in mind, she writes this book for everyone, not just survivors. Available in paperback from Amazon.

WE’VE ALL BEEN THERE

I’d also in this section like to draw attention to a charity anthology I’m part of. All proceeds for this one go to Project Semicolon.

Life is full of ups and downs. We struggle day to day sometimes with our jobs, social interactions, bills and finding time to spend with our families. It can be somewhat depressing to go through the motions, waiting for that break so more time can be devoted to what matters most. Delve into the darkest depths of life in this anthology to find the strength to overcome the hardships.

Available on Kindle and in paperback on Amazon.

THE TOUR

Book lovers from all over the world have joined together to share their stories and spread mental health awareness. Please follow this tour guide to find our posts and to enter our giveaway for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card and a Book Lovers Unite for World Suicide Prevention Day 2020 t-shirt:

P.D. Workman, Author

Triple A Book Blog

Jessica Burkhart, Author

Here Is What I Read Blog

Crossroad Reviews

Jazzy Book Reviews

Book Corner News and Reviews

I Love Books and Stuff Blog

Luv Saving Money

Debbie Manber Kupfer, Author

Ash Ineski, Author

Allie Burton, Author

Book Butterfly in Dreamland

Sara Crawford, Author

Tawdra Kandle, Author

Quinn Loftis, Author

Kat’s Indie Book Blog

Day Leitao, Author

Steph Weston, Author

Lanie Bynum, Author

L.B. Carter, Author

Holly and Mistletoe

Eva Pohler, Author

THE GIVEAWAY

From September 1-10, enter for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card and a Book Lovers Unite for World Suicide Prevention Day t-shirt. There are lots of ways to enter below–choose one or all. You can also tweet daily for extra entries. We’ll email the winner by September 11th.

Enter the Rafflecopter here!

OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP

1. On September 10th at 8 p.m. your time, light a candle to remember all those we have lost to suicide and to represent the hope of preventing suicide. People all over the world will be participating. You can send an ecard in 63 different languages to invite others to participate. Find the ecards here.

2. Purchase a Book Lovers Unite for World Suicide Prevention Day 2020 for $20. For every shirt sold, five dollars is donated to the International Association for Suicide Prevention. Order yours here.

3. Spread the word about this giveaway, to encourage more people to read our posts and tweet about overcoming stigma. Use the share buttons at the bottom of this post, and

Click to tweet: #EntertoWin a $50 #giftcard and #Tshirt while fighting #stigma and spreading #mentalhealthawareness for #suicideprevention #WSPD.

OTHER RESOURCES

Here are videos on suicide and mental helath that I have found to be helpful:

The Bridge Between Suicide and Life

You’re Still Here: Living After Suicide

This Is for All of You in a Dark Place

https://storyoriginapp.com/to/Ktcvs2s

Child of Chaos

YA Author and award-winning game designer, Glen Dahlgren is pleased to present his newest release, The Child of Chaos!

Check out the stunning cover and blurb below! Also, get to know the author with Glen’s bio and social media links.

And last, but not least, read the amazing reviews this book is getting from today’s largest authors industry pros!



Galen loves dreaming up stories, but he never expected to be pulled into a nightmare.

An irresistible longing drags Galen to an ancient vault where, long ago, the gods of Order locked Chaos away.
Chaos promises power to the one destined to liberate it, but Galen’s dreams warn of dark consequences.

He isn’t the only one racing to the vault, however. Horace, the bully who lives to torment Galen, is determined to unleash Chaos–and he might know how to do it.

Galen’s imagination always got him into trouble, but now it may be the only thing that can prevent Horace from unraveling the world.

 

You can get your copy here:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08BN6S5R2

 


Meet Glen Dahlgren

Website:

http://www.mysterium.blog/

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gdahlgrenauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GlenDahlgren

Amazon: https://amazon.com/author/glendahlgren

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20441786.Glen_Dahlgren

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/glen-dahlgren

 


Editorial Reviews

“There is a quality of imagination and detail here that impresses me. This is no ordinary sword and sorcery story. [Glen Dahlgren] is a novelist who I think will become more widely known as his skill is appreciated. This is what fantasy fiction should be.”
Piers Anthony, New York Times bestselling author of the Xanth series

“It’s rare that a fantasy story – and a YA one at that – manages to be both familiar (in terms of fantasy conventions) and yet strikingly fresh and original at the same time. But this one does… and the ultimate conclusion is very satisfying.”
Michael Verdu, one of the founders of Legend Entertainment, designer and producer of Mission Critical

An immensely satisfying page turner with some profound things to say about friendship, responsibility and true courage.
Lee Sheldon, award-winning writer of Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Lion’s Song

The book managed to surprise me with clever twists and turns, and as a lifelong fantasy reader, that’s a tough trick to pull off.
Christy Marx, award-winning writer of Conan, Red Sonja, and Elfquest, and author of Writing for Animation, Comics & Games

These Darker Streets Book Release

Hey folks, I’m excited today to help Dragon Soul Press author, Abigail Lindhardt celebrate the release of her new book, These Darker Streets

So what’s it about?

Tragic loss. Eternal love. Ancient magic.

Brigit is dealing with the loss of her mother and brother while trying to run her mother’s shop of magical oddities. She used to believe in magic and had hopes for a great future. When fate took her family away before she was ready, all of her belief in happiness and love died with them. When a mysterious man named Ildanach appears and is everything Brigit is not–happy, fun, adventurous, and extremely handsome–she feels her stable life of hiding being threatened as he calls her out into a vulnerable relationship. There is more to this man than meets the eye. He brings with him a life Brigit is not sure she believes in. One that doesn’t even exist in her reality. Plagued by visions of past lives, Brigit’s trust in a magicless existence is about to be shattered.

Ildanach has been the fairy guardian for centuries. Every few lifetimes, he meets a woman who is the reincarnation of his love and together they can protect the earth. Ildanach thought he had found his love in this century, but she was killed by a rogue fairy from the underworld, taking his hope. Now he has met Brigit, a woman hell-bent on denying anything that she cannot touch in this reality. When he sees the spark of his love in her, he knows she’s the one with whom he can stop the dark spirit for good. However, she is dead to the world of magic; too wrapped up in her trials and the darkness that mortal life has given her. The world is in danger as the lord from the underworld, Arawn, taints mortal souls in order to grow his army of the underworld and stop the guardian and the goddess once and for all.

In a battle of life or death, Idlanach must save the mortal world before time runs out and Brigit must decide once and for all if she can believe in something as mysterious as magic.

A Five-Star Review: These Darker Streets is an addictive read that seamlessly weaves Celtic legend into a dark and dangerous urban fantasy filled with compelling characters, engaging action, and a love story powerful enough to survive centuries. Abigail Linhardt is a bold, new voice to watch. – D.D. Croix, award-winning author of Dragonfly Maid

Pick up your copy today!

Meet Sami Valentine

Hi everyone, today I’m happy to welcome onto my blog Urban Fantasy writer, Sami Valentine. Sami grew up in the desert and now wanders in search of wifi and coffee. 

Formerly a mild-mannered librarian, she had a quarter-life crisis and shook everything up. She started working in an LGBT homeless center, shaved some of her head, and got really into tarot. After realizing that her goal in life was to get out of her small town and she only made it 30 minutes up the highway, she filled a bag and left. That was two years and a dozen countries ago.

She stopped by to answer a few questions about her series, the Red Witch Chronicles.

1. What is your book about?  
A Witch Called Red is the first book in the Red Witch Chronicles. This is a supernatural thriller about a witch trained as a supernatural bounty hunter. Where she came from is a mystery. Each book in the series has its own plot and conflict to solve, the overarching mystery is Red discovering exactly who she is and why she was left for dead with amnesia outside Eugene, Oregon. In the first book, Red and her mentor come to Los Angeles to solve the mysterious murder of a model left drained on the beach. Red gets in over her head as the murder investigations takes a hard turn into a conspiracy with the local vampires.

2. Every author does something different with urban fantasy, what is your twist on the genre?
 In the first book of my Red Witch Chronicles, I was inspired by those noir films like Double Indemnity and Kiss Kiss Bang Band LA so my UF has a gritty realistic flavor.  My style of urban fantasy could be described as character driven-thrillers.  

3. What inspired you to write this book?  
I am really interested in identity and memory and how it affects someone’s personality and choices. A big theme in the Red Witch Chronicles is the struggle in being yourself and it’s interesting to explore those themes with a character who has no memories.

4. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
A goat. This might be because my astrological moon sign is in Capricorn. Goats are agile, hardy, and stubborn. They can handle all weathers and altitudes. I spent a good chunk of a decade in a writing funk so I want to emulate the consistent goat.

5. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
If we count the fanfiction too, then a lot! I usually just work on one project at a time so I am focused on the Red Witch Chronicles, but I do have two prequel projects in the works. One focuses on Red as a teenager with her memories so it’s an interesting challenge to write a character who has almost two personalities.

Thank you for taking time to answer my questions. You can pick up A Witch Called Red on Amazon.

https://storyoriginapp.com/to/rDkYoJL

Super 99 cents P.A.W.S. Sale!

Hi folks, I hope everyone is doing well and I have a treat for you all. For a limited time ALL 6 of my P.A.W.S. books including the brand new JHARA are on sale for just 99 cents/99p each on Kindle (or free to subscribers of Kindle Unlimited.

Stock up today!

Also I’ve got together with some awesome indie authors to bring you the best of summer reads. Click on the banners below for details.

Friday Fiction – BOO!

Been a while since I’ve done one of these, so here’s a little bit of flash fiction silliness I wrote this week from a story prompt over at Daily Flash Writing Prompts – an awesome little group on FB where I often get inspirations for my shorts. (Come join us if you will.)

“I don’t believe in ghosts. And seances are a scam.”

“I wouldn’t say that too loudly around here.”

“Why not, it’s true.”

“But they might here you.

“Who might hear, Dame Grisela, you know she’s a fraud.”

“Not her, the others.”

“What the other clients. They deserve to hear. In any case I’m off.”

“I don’t think so.”

“Who the hell are you?”

“You mean who the hell were I. Look more closely.”

“You’re kind of see-thru. Nice effect.”

“It’s not an effect per se. You get used to it in time.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“Look at your hand.”

“It’s um getting fuzzy. I don’t like it. Please make it stop.”

“Sorry, no can do. Welcome to the afterlife. You’ll find séances really relieve the monotony.”

For more flash fiction silliness check out Tea and Dark Chocolate!

The Legend of Jhara

In a village far away there lived a man called Aviano. Aviano was a merchant. He sold birds in silver cages. The birds came to him through magic. He beguiled them with promises and then trapped them in the cages. He imbued the bars of the cages with magic, so that the birds could only be set free by one who passed him silver. The magic was flawed though and sometimes he caught creatures in his cages that were not truly birds.

Once, for example, the raven he had beguiled turned out to be magician who took on a raven’s form. He was rescued by a young girl who was punished for her deed. The punishment was immortality. The curse to live through the centuries and never be at peace. That curse, from what I hear, was recently broken, and another who is more suited for the task has taken the girl’s place.

But I digress. One day Aviano bit off a little more than he could chew. He captured a fairy called Argentia. He thought that the fairy would make a fine prize and that he would sell it for a thousand silver pieces, especially as she herself was the color of silver. This fairy however, was far more than she seemed. As she sat in the cage, she didn’t stress but rather she plotted. Plotted to destroy the bird man. For that though she would need silver, lots of silver.

She watched while Aviano sold his flock that day. He did a roaring trade and she counted seventeen birds leaving in their gilded cages with their new owners. The Bird Man’s pouch where he kept the silver became heavier and heavier.

That night while he slept, he rested the pouch at the foot of his bed, but he was careless and didn’t complete the ward spells he normally put in place before he slept. Maybe it was the goblet of oogleberry wine that somehow had found its place on his bedside table. Who knows? But in any case he entered the world of sleep without proper protection.

That night Argentia was released by a girl with chestnut hair. She thanked the girl, but did not leave immediately. Instead she fluttered into Aviano’s cabin and used a spell to exchange his silver coins with rocks. And so she was able to filch every last one before she took her liberty.

She chuckled at the thought of Aviano carrying around the pouch of rocks the next day. He did this for hours until hunger sent him into the village in search of a meal at the inn. He ordered a fine feast and opened his pouch to pay.

“What is this?” demanded the innkeeper. “I’m sorry but I do not take this currency. Come back when you have silver.”

Aviano looked down at the rocks. How had this happened? He marched over to the witch, Grisela’s cottage. She must have something to do with this. But she just shrugged when she saw the rocks. “Why are showing these to me?” she asked.

“I thought maybe … as you sell stones you might want these. They are worth a lot of silver.”

“No, they are not. They are merely common rocks you could find on the ground anywhere in the village. Take them away.”

That night Aviano wept. His fortune—he had lost his fortune. But that was not all Argentia had planned for him, though perhaps that is where she should have stopped. But the silver fairy never did anything by half measures, and the spell was only half complete. The stolen silver had a purpose. With it Argentia fashioned Jhara, an artifact so powerful that it could devastate not only its target but all its surroundings.

That of course had not been the plan. Argentia wanted a precision weapon. She wanted to take out Aviano so that he could no longer trap the birds. It did not work. The fairy and the Bird Man wrestled and in the struggle a portal of silver opened into our world and the storm was flung through it.

The other side of that fateful portal was in the bay of New Orleans and the storm that was released would be remembered not by the name of Jhara but by another name—Katrina.

Argentia watched the devastation, the destruction of thousands of innocent lives and wept. She found the weather mage, Latisha Watts, to help, but her help came too late. Together though they formulated a plan to trap Jhara into an artifact and send it away. Argentia initially wanted to destroy the storm, but Latisha understood that that was not possible. That with its destruction it would take much of America with it.

So instead they coaxed it into the artifact with a promise that one day it would have a worthy target. The artifact was taken by hand to St. Louis, or rather by flipper, as Latisha transformed into her dolphin form for the journey and swam up the Mississippi with the artifact embedded in her flipper. Jessamyn met her and took Jhara from her and concealed it in illusion in her chamber where it sits to this day.

So Jhara was safe or at least they thought she was.

But Jessamyn would very rarely check her hoard, and she trusted her students. That would prove the fatal mistake.

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Want to read more? Pick up a copy of JHARA today on Amazon on paperback or Kindle or FREE on Kindle Unlimited.