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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Guest Author: NYT Best-Selling Author Tammara Webber +Giveaway

I'm too excited to have Tammara Webber on Lady Scribes today! I first learned of Tammara's books via fellow author Elyssa Patrick. And I am so, so glad that I did!

Welcome Tammara!



1. Congratulations on achieving NYT Bestseller list status for print and e-book sales of your New Adult novel, EASY! Have you had a chance to breathe and enjoy your crazy awesome success?

I’ve been busier since I released EASY than I’ve ever been! The volume of email and other messages increased dramatically, and keeping up with the overall business of being an author, never mind the indie additions to that, has been a little overwhelming. (I did enjoy my husband telling the Starbucks barista that he was buying out ALL FOUR copies of the NY Times because his wife was on the bestseller list. I was trying to hide behind him at the time.)

2. What the heck is New Adult?

“New Adult” is the term for a category proposed by St. Martin’s Press in late 2009 to fill a perceived popular literature gap between YA (young adult) and typical adult genres (such as Women’s Fiction, Romance, etc). The idea was to focus on the time period when characters are technically adults, but they’re still learning the ropes. It didn’t quite take at the time, but some authors are reviving the attempt, thanks to the ability to self-pub. College Lit or Young Adult Mature are other name options.

3. EASY takes place at a college - a setting that I learned from reading your blog that traditional publishers didn't think people wanted. However, it seems like word of mouth was a key player in your sales and ultimate success (I know I found out about your books that way, and haven't stopped talking about them). So, would you say a good story trumps all, including setting?

Absolutely. In this case, however, I think the setting was key to the initial interest. I think readers want college settings, and I think they’re proving it with what they buy, and with the rapid word-of-mouth spread.

4. I read that one of your friends "pushed" you into taking the self-publishing plunge. What exactly was the tipping point?

In early 2011, my best friend (who’s not a writer) read an article about Amanda Hocking’s self-pubbing success. She told me, “Hey, you could do that!” I was all “Pshh, nuh-uh, that’s not for me.” I was still determined to go the traditional route. Besides, I’d already signed up for a February writers’ conference where I planned to pitch Between the Lines. Again. After the conference, she didn’t let up on the nagging as I waited for a response from that agent. (Seriously, she has nagging down to an art.) When I got the last rejection letter, I decided to go for it.






5. My favorite book of yours is Good For You (yes, I'm a sucker for bad boys redeemed). There was so much that could have (in my opinion) gone wrong with having a character like Dori Cantrell as the heroine. She's a do-gooder, daughter of a preacher, and basically says no to everything Reid Alexander says yes to. Yet she doesn't come off preachy or perfect, nor does she try to convert him. I loved her! What made (or why did the voices in your head) decide that Reid needed to be paired up with someone like Dori? 

With exceptions of Brooke, who broke Reid’s heart, and Emma, who knew better than to trust him, girls were all the same. They wanted him because he was hot, famous, rich, or some combination or those things. If Reid was going to actually fall for someone, it was going to have to be someone who would see something in him that the others couldn’t see. Emma and her “something more” comment really bugged him, but he didn’t think it was possible for him to be anything other than what everyone thought he was. The fact that Dori saw past his façade, even more than he could, was what made her different. And of course he saw past hers as well.

6. How scary was it to leave your full-time job to write?

 I was working part-time by the time I quit, and I waited until I was making enough from writing for that decision to make sense for my family. Quitting meant I was able to write much of EASY during my best time of day (mornings). It was definitely the right move.

7. Do you have a certain song in mind while you write each book, or are there certain songs that remind your of your characters?

I make playlists that I make on iTunes. I usually end up with 40-50 songs on a playlist, and I just set it to shuffle and let it play at a low level while I’m writing. For GOOD FOR YOU, nearly the entire CD of Safetysuit’s Life Left to Go was perfect (especially Anywhere But Here). For EASY, the top three songs were Holcombe Waller’s Hardliners, Pat Green’s Let Me, and Kelly Clarkson’s What Doesn’t Kill You. Sometimes I just replay one song over and over while writing a scene – I did that with Hardliners for a couple of scenes in EASY.

8. I love the covers of the BETWEEN THE LINES Series and EASY. Did you design them or have them done by someone else?

I designed them originally, but I had help on the latest renditions. A graphic designer friend added the park background to BTL  (it was plain white before). The cover for GFY was from a commissioned photo, done at my house. I hired a cover designer for the first time when I did EASY. She used the photo I’d chosen and photoshopped it to look exactly how I wanted it to look. I love it. (She also redid the paperback BTL covers.)

9. You've indicated EASY is not the start to another series, which makes me happy and sad at the same time. Not every book has to have a sequel. However, this begs the question: What are you writing next?

I promised a fourth BTL focusing on Reid, Dori and Brooke, so I’m set to work on that, but I’ve got another story idea brewing furiously… I may try to write two simultaneously, though I think one will probably take over.




Thanks for being here today, Tammara! Cannot wait for the Fourth BTL book. Please don't make me suffer too long. I have to know Reid and Dori stay together forevah and evah. K?









Reading was one of my first and earliest loves, and writing soon followed. My first book was about a lost bear, but my lack of ability as an illustrator convinced me to abandon that effort and concentrate on passing 3rd grade. I wrote sad romantic poetry in high school and penned my first half-novel when I was 19, for which I did lots of research on Vikings (the marauders, not the football team), and which was accidentally destroyed when I stuffed it into the shredder at work.

Addictions: coffee and Cherry Garcia frozen yogurt. Also baby carrots, but not with coffee or frozen yogurt, because that would be disgusting. I love shopping for earrings, because they always fit - even if I occasionally "forget" to work out. I'm a hopeful romantic who adores novels with happy endings, because there are enough sad endings in real life.

You can find Tammara at these places:




When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality: she’s single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, stalked by her ex’s frat brother, and failing a class for the first time in her life.

Her econ professor gives her an email address for Landon, the class tutor, who shows her that she’s still the same intelligent girl she’s always been. As Jacqueline becomes interested in more from her tutor than a better grade, his teasing responses make the feeling seem mutual. There’s just one problem—their only interactions are through email.

Meanwhile, a guy in her econ class proves his worth the first night she meets him. Nothing like her popular ex or her brainy tutor, Lucas sits on the back row, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. At a downtown club, he disappears after several dances that leave her on fire. When he asks if he can sketch her, alone in her room, she agrees—hoping for more.
Then Jacqueline discovers a withheld connection between her supportive tutor and her seductive classmate, her ex comes back into the picture, and her stalker escalates his attention by spreading rumors that they’ve hooked up. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy.









Today I'm giving away a copy of Easy, in whatever format the winner prefers, to 1 lucky commentor, because I loved this book and every book of Tammara's. 


UPDATE: Tammara replaced the e-book version with a SIGNED COPY of EASY! Winner (chosen by random.org) revealed in comments! 


86 comments:

  1. Hey Tamera, I have heard so much about your book. I'm glad it's doing so good.

    Marquita- you do such a good job on your interviews.

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    1. Thanks, Melody! And yes, Marquita is a master interviewer! :)

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  2. Welcome to Lady Scribes, Tammara! It was so much fun interviewing you! I can't tell enough people about your books.

    Should I be nervous about Dori and Reid (please say no!)?

    Thanks for coming on here!

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    1. You know how some writers are "outliners" and some are "pantsers"? I'm the latter. If I outline, it's bare-bones vague. So, I guess my answer is nothing is sacred. It's all a little improv. (Reid surprised the heck out of me at the end of BTL. I didn't expect to write even a second one until then.) People don't realize that when they ask for sequels!

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    2. Nothing is sacred? Great, now I know I'll be all pins and needles while waiting for the 4th BTL. Like I wasn't already. ;)

      But I will trust you as the author will make me happy, b/c honestly, it's all about me. ;p LOL!

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  3. Hi, Tammara. Thanks for joining us at Lady Scribes today. I've been really intrigued by the idea of New Adult for a while now. It feels like it could have a lot of the angst you find in YA, but with the characters old enough that they're learning to be adults instead of teens. That's a tough time for a lot of people...but also a really exciting time, filled with built-in stressors and drama. I'd think it would provide a great backdrop for a number of stories. I'll have to check your books out. :)

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    1. Thank you, Catherine. I don't think anyone is immune to angst, no matter their ages! But yes, the college years are a time of rapid personal growth into the first stages of adulthood, and that's why I want to write about characters in that age group.

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  4. My new favorite author! Reading is one of my absolute favorite hobbies. But I wouldn't necessarily call it a hobby.....it's something I need to do like breathing air or raising my family. :) when I found Tammara's books I was hooked. I adore the story lines and the way they are written. I've recommended them to all my Facebook friends. Definitely in my top five favorite authors circle! Keep it up and I can't wait for more!

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  5. I laughed so stinkin hard over the Starbucks scene because I can totally picture it in my head. Your hubs is a hoot! Come to Austin soon! *BIIIIIIG HUGS*

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  6. I loved Easy. I have Between the Lines n my Kindle ready to read.

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    1. Thank you, Elisa - I hope you enjoy it. :)

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    2. Elisa, you will not be sorry!! BTL is addicting. Addicting I tell you. I've re-read the 3rd book about a million times.
      :D

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  7. I am a huge fan tammara. your books are amazing, i have told you several times thru msg on goodreads. and the fact that you answered me yourself, kinda seems surreal. not many people take the time to do that, and it makes someone's day when they write something, and do not really expect a reply because that just seems like one in a million, and to actually get one, you got a honest to goodness lifetime fan in me.
    keep up the good work, and enjoy the benefits from all your hard work!!

    stacey

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    1. Thank you, Stacey! I love everyone's comments, tweets, emails, and messages so much. I wish you could all see the big smile on my face when I'm reading them. When writing, it's harder (or impossible) to reply to everyone, and trying to keep up can get overwhelming. Authors appreciate those notes so much - they make us want to keep writing, even when we've had a horrible, 14-hour writing day with maybe three bad sentences to show for it. (Trust me, it happens to all of us.) You are absolutely appreciated, even when someone doesn't have time to do any more than read through their messages. <3

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  8. Easy was such an amazing BOOK!!! I loved it from the start to finish and I love the cover sooooooooo sexy!!! I read it the day it came out and made my friends read it who loved it!!! I just all around can"t get enough of your books!!!

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    1. Thank you Betsy - and thanks for spreading the word, too! Easy's success is all due to reviewer/ blogger/ reader word of mouth. You guys are amazing and I thank my lucky stars that you took the chance on it. :)

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  9. Love Love Loved Easy!!! I felt like I was back in college again :) Read it in one day, this book should definitely be in the top 10 on The NYTBS list :-)

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    1. MiShaun! Hollah!! {{HUGS}} to my sassiest cheerleader ever. Thank you for your YEARS of emotional support and for forcing - I mean allowing - me to use your name for my equally sassy character in BTL. (Thank you most of all for teaching me the Tao of MiShaun: "Meh." I use it daily.)

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    2. Lol I just strongly suggested a small mention in the book

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  10. I've read all of Tammara's books and love them. I can't wait for whatever comes out next. Tammara's one of my favorite writers and I'll buy whatever she writes because I know it will be awesome.

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    1. Thank you for your faith in me, Jackie! :)

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  11. Thank you for the great interview! I love getting to hear about the characters you have created. I was sucked into Easy and I am looking forward to reading BTL :)

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    1. Thanks, Melissa! It was a fun interview to do. I hope you enjoy BTL. :)

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  12. Tammara...you know how much I love Easy and all your book recommendations have been spot on (we've chatted on FB). I can't tell you how many people I have told "You have to read Easy". :) And they all have loved it! Looking forward to your next book!

    Kelli

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    1. That's awesome, Kelli - thank you so much. I think we're all shocking at least some of the publishing world with what word-of-mouth can do. I'm just so in awe. <3

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    2. It also helps that your books are kickass, Tammara. :D

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  13. Oh my gosh I've read great things about Tammara's books but unfortunately I can't buy anything online. :( So thank you so much for the giveaway :)
    Great interview, she is so nice! And Easy seems just like my kind of read, fingers crossed.

    luarroyave(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  14. I am SO excited to read Easy as well as the Between the Lines series! Tammara I think you are AWESOME for pursuing what you want, and even more awesome for your recent success!! BTW- also loved the "I love shopping for earrings cuz they always fit" line. Haha - very true!

    ANYWAY, congreats again!!!

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    1. Thanks, Cass! (Yes, earrings are my favorite.)
      :)

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  15. Thank you so much! I really want to read this (on my kindle!)!!

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    1. If you want a Kindle instead of a signed paperback, that's no problem! We aim to please! ;)

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    2. A Kindle *version* of Easy, I should say, before I give Marquita a heart attack...

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  16. Welcome to Ladyscribes, Tamara. Your books sound great, and I love hearing about writers' success stories!

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  17. Tammara, do you intend to redeem Brooke??? I'm almost afraid to see what happens with Reid and Dori. They are so young and he IS a mega-star and I need to have my HEAs.

    I sooo love Lucas and Jacqueline. Will we ever see them in any of your other books. I want to at least glimpse them having their HEA.

    Can you tell us anything else about this "other" book you're working on? Will it be part of a series? Can you give us DATES???

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    1. Beverly - I'm not withholding info I know, I'm withholding very tentative info - too tentative to give out.

      I write character-driven stories - I have a destination in mind for them, but they get there however they want to (and sometimes, rarely, they refuse to go). Brooke, Reid and Dori will be in the next BTL. I'm considering another character, but I'm not sure yet if I'll reintroduce him. Every character can't have the HEA every reader wants to see.

      The other book will be another stand-alone. I'll give dates when I have them - giving dates too soon makes me panic, and no one wants that, especially my husband... When I panic, I freeze up, and I can't write, and I become a sobbing mess to live with! Not good.

      Thank you for being patient! <3 My husband thanks you, as well.

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  18. Welcome to Lady Scribes, Tammara! I love this new genre, and I look forward to reading your work. Is there another genre that interests you, that you might try out some day?

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    1. Thanks, Lily! Interesting question! I have an idea for a contemporary story, but with a fantasy/paranormal sort of twist. I've talked to my husband, BFF, and critique partners about it, and they all liked the idea. I may write that further down the line, but for now it's an idea and a few notes. We'll see. :)

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  19. Tammara,
    This sounds really great! Like Lily, I love this new genre, and I look forward to reading your work. Thanks for being with us today at Lady Scribes. :)

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  20. I feel sort of guilty for entering to win this since I already have the Kindle copy, have read it and loved it as I do all of Tammara's work. But a SIGNED paperback is just too tempting. I need Tammara on my shelf!!!

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  21. Congrats on the new release! Thanks for a fun post and giveaway!!!

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  22. Tammara,
    I loved Easy. I felt you added a wonderful aspect to the story by including the abuse, self defense class, etc. It's such a real aspect of college life that isn't brought up somewhat lightly in traditional stories. After reading Easy, I quickly added your other books to my TBR list. I hope you enjoy your success and keep your passion alive. I look forward to more "new adult" books.

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    1. Thank you so much, Anie! The others are *lighter* reads, especially the first two. I hope you like them.

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  23. I have read all of Tammara's books in the last month! so excited for her!

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  24. Um yeah. What more can I say besides the fact that Tammara is singlehandedly taking over the Indie world. I <3 her books and her online presence is phenomenal. She really knows how to connect to her fans and present herself in a respectable light.

    <3 ya!!

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    1. Melissa - I need to put you on the payroll, lol. I'm blushing. (Wait. I'm respectable? DANGIT. That was not what I planned when I posted photos of all those beautiful guys on my FB page...)

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    2. The beautiful guys just increase your respectability.

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  25. wowww... love the cover so much! Great synopsis... ;)

    lady_milano3 at yahoo dot com

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    1. Thank you! I knew those two were L&J when I saw them - I'm so glad you like it. :)

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    2. Congrats Lady! You've won the signed copy of EASY. The winner was chosen via Random.org

      YAYA! I'll go ahead and email you since you included an email address. :)

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    3. Yayyyy! XDD *max happy*
      @Tammara: woww, cant wait to get into L&J then! :D Great to get your sign in it!
      @Marquita: Thank youuu... I've followed your twitter!
      Both of you, thank you so much!

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  26. This sounds like a great read! I have it on my to-read list since I noticed one of my goodreads friends reading it. I agree that the cover is beautifull!

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    1. Thank you! You're right - the college years have been like a small, forgotten (but important!) slice of life in popular literature.

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  28. Welcome, Tammara! I've never heard the term New Adult, but it sounds like a great new genre. Congrats on EASY--I've heard wonderful things about it!
    Great interview, Marquita!

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  29. Wow, nice interview! Both books look good. I've added them to my TBR list.
    bas1chsemail at gmail dot com

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  30. How wonderful for you to join us here today at Lady Scribes, Tammara! I love the concept of a New Adult category - a perfect description for a very memorable time for most everyone!

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  31. Congratulations on the success! Very nice interview. The books sound good.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  32. Great author & great interview! I stumbled upon Between the Lines one day, and ever since have not only read everything you've written, but also most of the books you've recommended. Like the interviewer, Good For You was my favorite. So, I'm excited to hear that we'll get to see Reid & Dori again in BTL4. Good luck as you go back into your writing phase! Looking forward to seeing the results! :)

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    1. I love hearing that! Thank you for the good wishes. :)

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  33. Forgot to leave my email...lauralea729@juno.com Thanks for the giveaway!! *crosses my fingers for luck* :)

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  34. Tammara, I've read all of your books and LOVE them. I'll recommend them to my granddaughter when she's a couple of years older. I know she'll love them, too.

    Meanwhile, I'm telling my niece that SHE should read them!

    ritaknits@gmail.com

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    1. Thank you, Rita! (I freakin LOVE those little socks you just posted! You are so talented!)

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  35. I just finished reading Easy and I loved it even more than Between the Lines. Thank you!

    By the way...how awesome would it be if you could purchase an e-book with a built-in, chapter-by-chapter playlist?!

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  36. Love this book! In fact, I went on Amazon to buy the print book (after I had read it on my Kindle Fire) for my 18-year-old daughter to read. She's off to college next month.

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    1. Thanks so very much! I hope she enjoys it. <3

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  37. Congratulations on your success! I have only read great things about Easy. Crossing fingers :)

    riotofbooks(@)gmail.com

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  38. This sounds like my kind of story. I've heard great reviews about it and though it's YA I think even adults can relate :)

    Cambonified(at)yahoo(dot)com

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