Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: DEAD CAMP (Book One) by Sean Kerr-Includes Author Interview!

Dead Camp
Author: Sean Kerr
Series: Dead Camp
Book: One
Release Date: January 1, 2016


Eli is an ancient vampire with an ego the size of a planet and a sex drive to match, but his tumultuous past left him broken, so he hides from humanity and cowers from love, left to endure the crushing guilt that haunts his every waking moment. Even his best friend Malachi, a ghost who is hopelessly in love with Eli, remains unaware of all that transpired in London. Malachi can never know the truth.

When the Angel Daniyyel pays an unwelcome visit, Eli must face his secrets, secrets that he has tried so long to hide. To make matters worse, a chance encounter with the most beautiful man he has ever seen shatters his beloved isolation, pushing him into the world of the living once more.
Something about this strange man seems so familiar, but Eli can’t even remember who he was before he became a vampire, never mind explain the unwanted emotions the enigmatic stranger ignites in his dead heart. So Eli has a choice—return to the world that ruined him, or continue his self-imposed exile with no hope of salvation.

Publisher: Extasy Books
Cover Artist: Latrisha Waters
Pages or Words: 87,422 words, 260 pages

Categories: Dark Themes, Erotica, Fiction, Gay Fiction, Historical, Horror, M/M Romance, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance, Vampires/Demons, Thriller

With a sickening wet sound, his body finally broke free of the earth. A cry of agony burst from between his perfect lips and his head fell back against my shoulder. I felt his long eyelashes brush against my neck as his eyes flickered in defiance of the blackness trying to consume him.

“Stay with me fella, stay with me, we’ll be home in a jiffy.”

Home, back to my castle, what the f*ck was I thinking? I was out of my little f*cking mind. I didn’t know the man. I owed him nothing. I had an Angel in my dining room and a German soldier in my dungeon and to top things off, I lived with a ghost. Yet I still wanted to take him home? No, I was intent on taking him home, I had decided that the moment I saw him.

But why, why should I get involved, why should I tread that path again, the path that could only lead to pain. It always did. And yet, as I held him in my arms I felt it, something inescapable, something that I could not understand, a stirring, a feeling, like something found when all hope of ever finding it had been forgotten. Something complicated.

A tingle of warning trickled up and down my spine making my hair stand on end. I lowered the hunk to the ground, slowly, carefully and whispered into his perfectly shaped ear. “Remain quiet.”

In a flash of lightning speed, I leapt into a tree, clinging with one hand to a thick branch while my legs wrapped around its thick girth. Someone was out there and not just Mr F*ck Me He’s Perfect. The smell of human, living heart pumping human was unmistakable, that incomparable odour carried on the wind to entice my nostrils and excite my senses, and I was dutifully excited. But there was something else there too, a feint undercurrent, an elusive aftertaste that went beyond sweat and skid-marks, an elusive scent that pricked at my memory, the smell of Demon.

I saw him then, a German soldier winding his way through the field of corpses. His uniform, a grey green feldbluse replete with bottle green collar and shoulder straps, made him almost invisible amongst the branches and the sludge. I could not see his face beneath his field cap but I could easily make out the eagle and swastika emblem embroidered on the bottle green cloth and I noted with disgust the Sturmgewehr semi-automatic rifle hanging loosely from his shoulder.

The Nazi stood barely six metres away from my injured future husband. Do not move lovely man, I said to myself, do not move and don’t make a sound and if you can, be still your beating heart, because to me it sounded like a jackhammer pounding through the forest. He was frightened and in pain. His eyes darted everywhere looking for me, desperate for me, pleading for me to drag him out of that Hell.

I saw the agony flash across his face before the sound escaped his lips. My entire body tensed. Too late, the soldier heard his pain.

He was running then, running towards my Adonis in the pit. Without hesitation, I soared through the air and landed with feline grace before him. The soldier fell backwards with a bloodcurdling scream. The rifle landed at my feet and I picked it up, rising to my full magnificent height, slowly and with purpose, relishing every moment of fear that blossomed across the soldier's white features. I snapped the weapon as easily as though it were a twig and threw the shattered weapon at his feet, watching with satisfied relish as he scrabbled backwards in the mud, his mouth curling away from his face as his terror burst from his throat.

“Demon! You are not from the camp. What are you?”
My teeth extended and my eyes flashed black. My Vampire was out. In one swift movement, barely visible to the human eye, I leapt at him, pulling him off the floor with effortless ease, lifting his flailing body high above my head. I threw him with all my might at the nearest tree. His spine snapped with an audible bang as his fragile body wrapped itself backwards around the trunk of the trembling pine, his lifeless body sliding to the ground and my stomach rumbled. Dinner was served.

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Carra's Review

I'm not quite sure how to describe Dead Camp.  There were parts that were intriguing, parts that were amusing, parts that were complicated and parts that were downright disturbing.  The writing is a bit wordy at times, usually during the longer, explanatory narratives and other areas of the story where dialogue between the characters is sparse.

There's a unique group of characters, with Eli (vampire), Malachi (ghost), Daniyyel (angel) and Ethan (presumably human) being the main ones and the bulk of the story being told from Eli's point of view.  We're also introduced to other characters who have shaped the circumstances in which our group now find themselves (Ethan's parents, Eli's ex, and oh yes-the devil).  They all make for some interesting interactions that reveal plenty of secrets on just about every characters' part, adding to the complexity of the story which only serves to draw the reader further in.

There are some scenes with sexual content, and plenty more with innuendo.  The one part that I found disturbing though is the final scene read from Ethan's father's diaries.  While I had already guessed where things were leading in regards to his father's friend's identity, the events that allegedly cement his friend into who he became are graphic and disconcerting, and might be found distasteful by some readers.

I do find myself thoroughly absorbed in the story to where I need to find out where things go from here.  The end of this book leaves us on a cliffhanger that promises a lot more drama to come, and I really want to see how the group's plan pans out as well as what might come for Eli and Ethan.  Dead Camp book one was a 4-star read for me, and I'd recommend it for fans of M/M paranormal fiction who like historical settings and flairs of drama.  18+ for adult language, graphic horror/gore and M/M (and a small bit of M/F) sexual content.

Author Interview

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Sean Kerr author of Dead Camp.

Hi Sean, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

Hello! Well, I’m a 46-year-old gay man living in Cardiff, Wales, with my partner of 27 years, Derek. Oh, and our two cats, Rita and Harry, and a load of tropical fish! I have worked in retail most of my life, and for the past 11 years, I have been running my own Interior Design business in Cardiff with my fabulous business partner, Jayne. I am a huge sci-fi and horror fan, Doctor Who being my first love in television, Alien my first love in film. Sigh. How I would love to write for both of them, but that is never going to happen, so move on lol.

Working for yourself, and trying to pay yourself, is not easy. Bit like being an author then lol. In an ideal world, I would love to see our shop run by someone else so that I could spend my days writing, but again that is just not going to happen. I love the design industry, I love working with fabrics and blinds, and helping our customers to create a beautiful home, but at the same time, I do not want to spend the rest of my life tied to our store. The recession hit 3 years after we opened and it has been a struggle, but we survived, and Jayne and I are proud of our achievement.

Writing has always been my passion. I never thought, never in a million years, that I would be published, and here I am with two books out, and I am now busy writing my third! When I started this series of books two years ago, I wrote to every agent in the Artists and Writers yearbook, and then some, well over 200 emails and letters, and I have a huge pile of ‘no’s’. I was on the verge of giving up. I knew my book was a bit fruity, I knew my book was contentious, but it was something I really wanted to write, and I loved every minute of writing it. Just when I thought there was no point in pursuing Dead Camp, I started to write something else, but then I thought I would try contacting some publishing houses direct. I contacted 6 publishers, and within two weeks had 3 offers of a contract! To say that I screamed a lot would be an understatement. I signed with the wonderful Extasy Books, and boy are they fabulous. My editors, cover designer, all of them, just wonderful, talented, incredibly supportive people, and I feel mighty privileged to be with them. I owe them everything, for making my dream come true, and I hope that we will be together for very, many years!

Dead Camp is a series of books, all with different stories that tell one big saga. As a gay man, I wanted to write it from a gay perspective, so all my characters are gay, well, except the odd one or two…spoilers sweetie. The series of books start during World War 2, and as they progress, you will find yourself in Victorian London, the Crucifixion, and then back to the downfall of Hitler. It’s a complex story, and every character is linked, even if they don’t know it. Book 1 & 2 are out, and I am currently working on book 3, which has been the toughest write so far. This book is proving particularly challenging because of the subject matter, but I think I have just broken the back of it, so now, with a bit of a push, I can finish the first draft.

When all is said and done, Dead Camp may contain Vampires, Ghosts, Demons and Angels, but ultimately, it is a story of a father’s forgiveness, and tolerance of that which is different, in a roundabout sort of way. I know the very last page of the very last book, it is there, in my many, many notes, and all I can say is, have a very large box of tissues at the ready!

Is there a character in your books that you can’t stand? (Antagonist for example) And what makes them someone you don’t like?

The Mother and Father. They have absolutely no redeeming features whatsoever. Even with Melek, you can’t help but love him, but with that Demonic pair, they are just pure malevolence in human form. 

Real evil is always born of something, there is always a catalyst, and during the course of the books, this will be revealed, but even then, you will be hard pushed to feel any sympathy for them. They have a very singular motivation for their actions, and they really don’t give a shit about how they achieve them. What they put Isaiah through is pure evil. What they did to Eli in London is born of pure hatred. They want what they want, and if mankind falls because of it, then all the better.

When you find out who they are, and why they are, their motivations become all the more apparent, but all the more horrific for it. Some people are impossible to love, and some people are impossible to forgive, and the Mother and Father fall into that category. Cruelty, torture, murder, the total annihilation of society as we know it, that is their mantra, and by God they do everything in their power to realise it. 

Are there misconceptions people have about your genre?

That all Vampire stories are the same. Yes, there are a series of tropes that we have to follow, but I have always wanted to write my Vampire story, and I have tried very hard, to add a different and unique spin on the genre. The origin of the Vampire, the reasons for its existence, daylight, mirrors, God, I have addressed it all throughout the course of my novels in a way I hope is fresh and different.

There is a larger misconception that I had about the M/M genre. One of the most surprising things I have realised about this genre, is the readership of such books. I wrote Dead Camp because I wanted to write something as a gay man, from a gay perspective, for gay people. Yet, this genre, M/M romance, gay fiction, whatever you may call it, is read by a huge, enormous readership of wonderful, supportive, and very kind women. Married women with children, single women, just lots of fantastic women. I had no idea. When my Facebook presence began to grow, it was only then that I realised this fact, and I have met so very many wonderful women who have really enjoyed my books, and who really love this genre of M/M fiction, and that surprised me more than anything. I assumed, stupidly, that I was writing for a primarily gay audience. WRONG! And I am so glad, because I have now been accepted into a world that I never knew existed, and I love it, and I love the people who inhabit it.

Is there message in your novel that you hope readers grasp?

Ultimately, it is about forgiveness. Every character, every story, every slice of history that I take you through, it is all connected. When all is said and done, when it gets to the very last few chapters in the very last book, it will all boil down to a son wanting his father’s forgiveness. It will be painful, as all reconciliations are, but the underlying message will, I hope, be quite strong. As a gay man, I did not choose this life, it chose me. I did not choose to be gay, I just am. I love my life, and I love the people within it. It doesn’t matter if you are gay, straight, trans, bi, any of it, we are people, we love, we laugh, we cry, and we all need to be forgiven at some point in our lives, and we all need to forgive. 

How has your writing evolved since your first book? (If this is your first book, how do you hope it evolves?)

The more you write, the better you get…I think lol. It took me two years to write Dead Camp 1 & 2, and I did many re-writes. I have realised how important a singular voice is within your work, because it is that voice that will drive the reader forward. The voice of Dead Camp 1 and 2 is raw, rough, and crude. But as the story progresses, that will change as Eli changes. Writing book 3 has is a tough gig, much worse than 1 and 2, if anything it has been even more difficult, but that is because of the voice within this novel, and the subject matter it deals with. I think that we, as authors, never stop learning, and never stop trying to make ourselves better. Working with editors and proofers at Extasy Books have taught me a huge amount about structure, layout, etc, all things that I am applying to book 3, but I am more driven now than ever. I have two books, published by a professional publisher, and they are available on Amazon, wow, I never thought I would see the day. That alone has made me want to do better, to make my writing better. But above all, this whole process has taught me about my lovely readers, and it is for them that I want to make the reading experience as exciting and fulfilling as possible, because without the readers, it is just a pile of paper with words on.

One food you don’t care if you never eat it again.

Dragon fruit. Really? Who ever thought that was a good idea? My stomach is turning at the thought. Do not eat Dragon fruit if you value your life.

Meet the author

          I think that as I approach that milestone that is fifty, I must be one of the oldest gamers on the face of this earth. Many a day you will find me lashed to my PS4 enjoying a good session of Skyrim. Who doesn’t love a good session of Skyrim?

          I love writing—I have done it since I was a child when I would happily write about the latest episode of Doctor Who (Tom Baker in those days) in my schoolbooks. Growing up and becoming a business owner with my friend Jayne left little time to pursue my dream of publication, but of late the desire and the compulsion to put words onto paper have once again dominated my life so that now, my laptop has become surgically fused to my fingertips.

          There is something desperately satisfying about telling a story. My fascination with History, Religion and Conspiracy theories have, in this instance, gone hand-in-hand with my love of all things vampire, fantasy, sci-fi and horror. I drove my parents nuts when I was young because that was all I would read about in books, all I would watch on television, but they have held me in good stead, and long may my obsession with the subjects continue, at least, that is, until the day they put me in my own wooden box. And imagination is such a wonderful thing. I once had a rather vivid dream about David Tennant and the Tardis console, but I could not possibly go into details about that here. Let’s just say that my polarity was well and truly reversed.

          Dead Camp is just the beginning. I have to check my knickers every day at the thought that this book is now in the public domain. My first book, and I hope the first of many. And to those out there who love to write, who love to transport us to new worlds, or old worlds with a twisted perspective, I say to you keep going. I never thought I would ever see my work available to download, and thanks to eXtasy Books, the dream that I always thought unobtainable has finally come true. So thank you all at eXtasy, I am one happy homosexual thanks to you, and thank you the reader for taking the time to read this strange tale and allowing Eli and the incomparable Malachi into your lives.

And now I really need Skyrim.

Rafflecopter Prize: eCopy of ‘Dead Camp’ book one

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10-May: Dawn’s Reading Nook, Cathy Brockman Romances, Unquietly Me

Release Blast-Excerpt & Giveaway: KISS ME THAT WAY by Laura Trentham

Kiss Me That Way
Cottonbloom #1
By: Laura Trentham
Releasing May 31, 2016
St. Martin’s Paperbacks


A river divides Cottonbloom in two: the upscale enclave on the Mississippi side and the rundown, rough and tumble side in Louisiana. They’re worlds apart—but nothing can build a bridge like love…

Cade Fournette never had it easy Cottonbloom. He stuck around long enough to raise his orphaned siblings and then hightailed it out West—and never looked back. Even though he’s made a success of himself in Seattle, Cade never lost the toughness and the angry edge that helped him survive down South. His only weak spot: the girl he left behind…

Monroe Kirby came from the wealthy side of town, but that didn’t protect her from her mother’s drinking—or her mother’s boyfriend. It was Cade who did that, on a long-ago hot September night, before he disappeared…along with a piece of her heart. Now Monroe is a physical therapist who can fight for herself, and it’s Cade who could use some conditioning when he makes an unexpected return back home. Will he and Monroe pick up where they left off and finally explore their mutual passion—or will the scars and secrets of the past divide them once more?

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“You left Cottonbloom without telling me. Without saying good-bye. I want to know why.” Monroe hadn’t meant for the words to come out at all, much less with such vehemence.

“It was complicated.” Cade broke eye contact. “You were a good kid in a bad situation.”
“Weren’t you a good kid in a bad situation?”
He shifted toward her, bracing a hand on the dash and laying his other arm over the back of her seat, invading her space. She didn’t retreat. His intensity spurred her heart rate into an erratic gallop, yet she wasn’t intimidated. Perhaps it was only echoes of the past, but he made her feel safe, even when he was the one she should be scared of.
“I grew up fast and tough.” His voice contained more than a hint of warning.
“You were nice to me,” she said softly.
“Don’t fool yourself into thinking I’m nice. I wasn’t then, and I’m sure as hell not now.”
He ran a callused finger down her cheek, the rasp igniting her nerve endings like a flint. His hand continued south and wrapped itself in her braid, the slight tug on her scalp sending shivers through her body in spite of the sun bearing down on the truck. Her nipples felt tight, and she hoped her tight sports tank masked her sudden, inexplicable arousal.
He pulled her braid, forcing her toward him. She didn’t fight him. He dropped his face next to hers, his coarse beard hair caressing her cheek, his mouth close to her ear. “If I see something I want, I go after it and get it by any means necessary.”
“How very Machiavellian.” She tried a laugh, but it came out more like a stuttering sigh. His scent hooked her even closer, and her lips grazed the outer rim of his ear.
He pulled back, his green-eyed gaze roving her face. She returned the favor, noting the faint brackets around his mouth, the crinkles at his eyes, the thick beard. A full-grown man. Yet was he so different from the boy she remembered?
“Ovid.” The movement of his lips jammed the cogs of her brain. The word made no sense. Her confusion must have been obvious, because the mouth she stared at tipped up in the corners, deepening the grooves. “The Greek philosopher Ovid, not Machiavelli, actually wrote: The end justifies the means.”
“Ovid. Of course.” Apparently, Monroe had slept through that philosophy class at Ole Miss. The fact that high-school dropout Cade Fournette was quoting Ovid made her wonder what other mysteries she might uncover if she went digging.
Just when she was ready to grab a shovel, he released her braid and slipped away. His limp was less pronounced as he took the stairs holding the cane parallel to the ground. Although he’d physically released her, she felt bound to him in some other fundamental way, incapable of tearing her eyes off him until he disappeared behind Sawyer’s front door. Even then, she sat, unable to drive away for a long minute.
How could the simple brush of Cade’s finger ignite a fire when other men left her cold? As her arousal ebbed, she realized something else. She’d just been manipulated by a master. He hadn’t explained why he left.
She spent the evening going through the motions of her life, eating when her stomach growled and heading to bed when her eyes felt heavy. A few short hours ago, her life had been tidy and predictable and boring. Cade Fournette’s return had spun her into chaos.

Author Info

An award-winning author, Laura Trentham was born and raised in a small town in Tennessee. Although, she loved English and reading in high school, she was convinced an English degree equated to starvation. She chose the next most logical major—Chemical Engineering—and worked in a hard hat and steel toed boots for several years.
She writes sexy, small town contemporaries and smoking hot Regency historicals. The first two books of her Falcon Football series were named Top Picks by RT Book Reviews magazine. When not lost in a cozy Southern town or Regency England, she's shuttling kids to soccer, helping with homework, and avoiding the Mt. Everest-sized pile of laundry that is almost as large as the to-be-read pile of books on her nightstand.

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Release Blitz & Giveaway: THE DARKEST TORMENT by Gena Showalter-Includes Excerpt!

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The Queen of Paranormal Romance, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Gena Showalter, returns with THE DARKEST TORMENT, the eagerly anticipated twelfth novel in her Lords of the Underworld series, available now! Grab your copy today!

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Get your copy of THE DARKEST TORMENT here!

Amazon * Kindle * Barnes and Noble * Nook * Book Depository * GooglePlay *iBooks* BAM * Kobo * IndieBound


New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter returns with her most explosive Lords of the Underworld tale to date, about a fierce warrior on the brink of sanity who will stop at nothing to claim the exquisite human with the power to soothe the beast inside him…

Driven to his death by the demon of Distrust, Baden spent centuries in purgatory. Now he’s back, but at what cost? Bound to the king of the underworld, an even darker force, he’s unable to withstand the touch of another…and he’s quickly devolving into a heartless assassin with an uncontrollable temper. Things only get worse when a mission goes awry and he finds himself saddled with a bride—just not his own.

Famed dog trainer Katarina Joelle is forced to marry a monster to protect her loved ones. When she’s taken hostage by the ruthless, beautiful Baden immediately after the ceremony, she’s plunged into a war between two evils—with a protector more dangerous than the monsters he hunts. They are meant to be enemies, but neither can resist the passion burning between them…and all too soon the biggest threat is to her heart.

But as Baden slips deeper into the abyss, she’ll have to teach him to love…or lose him forever.

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Katarina wasn’t afraid of Baden. Not anymore. 

He took a step to the side, intending to move around her. Oh, no. She flattened her hands on his shoulders, keeping him in place. 

“I want to know what’s wrong with you.” She said. “Tell me.”

He snapped his teeth at her in a show of dominance. “You think you want to know my problem. You’re wrong.” 

Her tone dry, she said, “I’m so glad you know my mind better than I do.” 

“Very well. I need sex.” He threw the words at her as if they were weapons. “Badly.” 

Whoa. Blindside! 

Heart pounding, she jerked her hands away from him. 

“Sex...from me?” 

“Yesss.” A hiss. “Only from you.” 

Only. Amazing how one little word could send pleasure soaring through her, warming her. “You told me never to touch you.” Which she’d just done, she realized. My bad. 

“I’ve changed my mind.” His gaze dropped, lingered on her lips. 

Burning her... “But you and I...we’re a different species.” As if that mattered to her body. Gimme!

He took a step closer, invading her personal space.  “We’ll fit, I promise you.”

Tristo hrmenych! The raspy quality of his voice, all smoke and gravel...she shivered with longing. Must resist his allure. 
But...but...why? Before she’d committed to Peter, she’d dated around, had made out in movie theaters, cars and on couches. She’d liked kissing and touching and “riding the belt buckle,” as her friends had called it. Then, after committing to Peter, she’d gifted him with her virginity. At first, he hadn’t known what to do with her—he’d been just as inexperienced—and she’d left each encounter disappointed. When finally she’d gathered the courage to tell him what she wanted, he’d satisfied her well. 

She missed sex. But connection...intimacy...she thought she missed those more

The dogs barked, jolting her from her thoughts. They’d cleaned their food bowls, and now wanted to play. She clasped Baden’s hand to lead him out of the kennel. He jerked away, severing contact. 

One action. Tons of hurt. 

“I’m allowed to touch you and you want to have sex with me, but you’re still disgusted by me.” She stomped outside the kennel, done with him. “Well, I’m leaving. Good riddance! Your do-what-I-say-or-else attitude was annoying, anyway.” 

He darted in front of her, stopping her. Breath caught in her throat as sunlight streamed over him, paying his chiseled features absolute tribute, making his bronzed skin glimmer. 

So beautiful. Too beautiful. 

“I’m not disgusted by you. You need me. I’ve come to accept it,” he admitted, looking away from her. “But being skin-to-skin with another is painful for me. We’ll have to proceed carefully. And you’ll get over your annoyance.” 

Another order!  She would show him the error of his ways.

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And don’t miss the previous titles in the Lords of the Underworld Series!












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About Gena Showalter

Author pic- Gena Showalter
Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, two young adult series–Everlife and the White Rabbit Chronicles–and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series. In addition to being a National Reader’s Choice and two time RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan (Red Hot Read) and Seventeen magazine, she’s appeared on Nightline and been mentioned in Orange is the New Black–if you ask her about it, she’ll talk for hours…hours! Her books have been translated in multiple languages.

She’s hard at work on her next novel, a tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who brings him to his knees. You can learn more about Gena, her menagerie of rescue dogs, and all her upcoming books at genashowalter.com or Facebook.com/genashowalterfan

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