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Girl’s Guide to Top Ten Adorable Cult Films

3 Aug

by Madeline Iva

It’s August! Time to make with the grabby hands before the slow, relaxed days of summer give way to the hustle of September. Grab a peach smoothie and your favorite guy, and let all your worries go while you enjoy these 10 Adorable Cult Movies — each is it’s own funky mix of whimsy and romance, sprinkled throughout with subversive feminist tropes, and SFF joy.

Here are some films that subverted the 80’s ethos.

Desperately Seeking Susan:

80’s fashion deliciousness and the essence of Madonna distilled.  She was a free-spirit, a mooch, a not-just-one-man kinda woman–the definition of a woman who didn’t draw inside the lines.  You couldn’t be her, but you sure as shit think she’s cool.Note the subtle Alice in Wonderland devices, as Susan steps through her sliding door (i.e. The Looking Glass) into a new world.

Earth Girls are Easy:

Jeff Goldblum is hot.  Okay–geek-hot, but this movie recognized that!   EGAE is a movie that rolls around in sexual objectification, even as it rejects old skool values for 3rd wave feminism and a hard core ‘whatevs” attitude.  The iconic song “I Want ‘Em Big and Stupid” was a cry from the heart back in a time when erom didn’t even exist.  When this movie came out, Jeff and Gina were married, and no one knew who Jim Carey and Damon Wayans were.  Seriously.

Clueless:

America was clueless when this film came on the scene that it was a clever remake of Jane Austen’s Emma.  (Not me! I watched it the first time thinking “Elton? Elton.  Why is that name so familiar?” And blurted out “Oh My GOD, it’s EMMA!” in the movie theatre when she got out of the car. With great styling, this story of valley-girl redemption is fluffy and fun –but also a solidly crafted movie.  R.I.P. Brittany Murphy, before you went blonde & skinny and you know, died.  Props to Alicia Silverstone for holding onto her vegan ethics in Hollywood.

The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai:

Peter Weller, you may teach art history now at Syracuse University, but once you were an 80’s cult legend.  Pre-Robo Cop, pre-Naked Lunch, here was a role in which you showed what a movie star you could be.  The film had a very interesting low-budget SFF style we’ve never seen before or since.  Alas, Ellen almost ruins the movie with her overwrought acting, but then again, she has to go eye to eye with an evil slug that’s going to sting her face to death, so.The classic quote from this movie shouldn’t be “Remember: where ever you go, there you are.” It should be, “Hey, hey, hey.  Don’t be mean.” The film is a cult legend, but also is everything the 80’s wasn’t about–which is why I lurv it so hard.

Then the 90’s came: sigh. We finally got to look back at the 80’s and shudder.

Romy & Michelle’s High School Adventure:

I was the Janeane Garofalo character in this movie–minus the cigarettes.  At least that’s what it felt like on the inside. (I’d still rather stick a cigarette in my eye than go to my own high school reunion.) You might be surprised that I would hail a movie which in turn celebrates Pretty Women (shudder), but this movie was groundbreaking as it planted a flag in the quivering flesh of America, advocating female friendship first.  Fromance–you never looked so good.

More recently:

Bend It Like Beckham:

Yes, you get John Rhys-Meyers.  Yes, you get a fabulous multi-cultural feminism that will carry you away, and YES, you get to cheer the idea that women can have what they want — but it doesn’t have to be the same thing for every woman.  Huzzah!

Life After Beth:

You just won’t know just exactly where this movie is going.  A shout out to Matthew Gubler in his supporting role.  This is a small film about a guy’s big problems with his girlfriend–which we ultimately realize really are HIS issues…and symbolic.  Audrey Plaza stars in this film — which is reason enough to watch it in my book.

Warm Bodies:

R is Nick Hoult, and Nick Hoult is hot.  Nuff said. 

Maleficent:

Oh, this film did not go where I thought it would.  It was FABULOUS! Have you seen it? You gotta check it out. How I wish this film had been around when I was a little girl.

Austenland:

The one…the only.  I’m sorry, but J.J. Fields is the *best* Darcy evah!!!!!!! I’ll just confess here: we watch this film allllllll the time.  I could quote the lines to you by now.  This is the film to watch if you’re having a sad day–it will make you feel better.  Our heroine finally decides to take charge of her narrative—you’ll want to as well, after you see this film.

Madeline Iva writes fantasy and paranormal romance.  Her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, featuring a magic geek heroine, is available on AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo, and through iTunes.  Sign up for Madeline Iva news & give aways.

 

 

Heart-Clenching Male/Male Love Stories: Q&A with Kindle Alexander

31 Jul

Click to buy….

Kris Michaels: When Lady Smut asked me to do a series of interviews highlighting the dynamic authors of gay romance, my first thought was Kindle Alexander. If you love a well written, heart-clenching love story, this author duo is for you. I was fortunate to meet the dynamic duo of Kindle Alexander early on in my writing career. The ladies that comprise this team are fabulous people who are kind, giving, and so much fun.

Full Disclosure: my disclosure, not their book by the same name, which by the way is freaking amazing…anyway, my favorite ugly cry book, the one that had me purchasing stock in a popular tissue company, is Always, by Kindle Alexander. The book wrecked me in the best possible way. Welcome Kindle Alexander!

Kindle Alexander: Thank you for letting us be here today. Big hugs.

Kris Michaels: What people may not realize is that Kindle Alexander is the pen name for a writing duo. How did you meet?

Kindle Alexander: We were cheerleading moms. Our daughters were competitive cheerleaders. We became close friends after an accident that involved my middle daughter. My writing partner was very sweet to me at that time. I call her the sympathy whispers, she’s really good at being there for people. I can say that she’s less sweet to me now. (I can’t wait for her to read this. 😊 )

Kris Michaels: What was the impetus to say, “Hey, let’s write a book?”

Kindle Alexander: It started after my daughter’s accident. It was in the Twilight craze time-frame. That’s when we found adult vampires through JR Ward. We couldn’t read fast enough to get our fill. About that time, Facebook opened to the public. We found Role Playing/fanfiction of JR Wards characters and we somehow got involved. I weirdly became Blay, she was Saxton on Facebook. We fell in love with MM Romance. Loved it. The stories in my head turned to guy on guy. It was actually a little shocking how completely all of the girls in my head and in the stories I was reading turned to guys.

Click to buy

It was right about the time the e-reader was invented. We didn’t know about the MM Romance world so we started writing these scenes online in fanfiction and developed a following. I remember the day I was in my writing partner’s kitchen and I said, “I think we should take these scenes and write a book.” She looked at me shocked and appalled and said, “But I failed English.” (We believed authors were a gift from a higher power, we weren’t worthy. We still believe that and still believe we’re not worthy.)

Kris Michaels: Do you write full time?

Kindle Alexander: Yes, even though we’re very slow. As an Indie Author, there is so much work outside of the writing process. It takes a lot to keep our books in front of people.

Kris Michaels: How many books do you currently have on your backlist?

Kindle Alexander: 8, 9, or 10. Something like that. I’m excited to say that Painted On My Heart won the Gold award in both the LGBT category and the Romance category for the eLit Awards. We’re proud of that accomplishment. No other LGBT book has ever won the Romance award.

Kris Michaels: Tell me what the process is for writing together. Do you swap scenes or do you each write a main character? Do you physically meet to write together or do you write separately and marry the efforts on line?

Click to buy.

Kindle Alexander: Yes. We write all over each other and send the file back and forth. She’s a diva. She likes Word, so we don’t use a shared online version, its one file shared back and worth, broken up into sections. The best thing about writing together is the pre-planning. We talk about guys kissing all of the time. Its great fun.

Kris Michaels: I know authors hate to say one character is their favorite, but if you two had to pick one character each (and don’t worry, we won’t tell your other guys) who would you pick and why?

Kindle Alexander: She picks Aaron from Full Domain. Aaron is a lot like her, they share the same personality. I pick Kane from Always. I connect with his personality. Always was a healing book for me, and Kane is a lot like I see myself.

Kris Michaels: What story was the absolute hardest to write? Was an emotional or technical difficulty?

Kindle Alexander: Well, that’s hard. Always was healing but the whole book was written nine months before I could actually finish the last few chapters. I cried and cried and cried and cried. So I appreciate that book.

Full Domain really took us to the next level of writing. Pulling the mystery and intrigue together as new writers was a challenge to get right.

Click to Buy

Painted On My Heart is probably the one story that helped in my understanding of the true world of a gay man, especially ones with any age on them. We touched on things we thought we understood and learned quickly that we didn’t. In return, we met some of the very best people in the world because of that story. The research alone put us in a situation that’s changed the way we see life. Spoiler alert – Painted touches on HIV. We spent days talking to the Department of Health, then taking that knowledge out to gay men with this disease. Some of those men are now close personal friends. My life is far better off because of their willingness to get involved with our story before and after it was written. Painted kind of turned into a statement book. I’m not sure we’ll ever get as much out of a book as we did that one.

Kris Michaels: What story flew off your fingertips and took you both by surprise?

Kindle Alexander: Double Full. It was written insanely fast for us. Such a letdown to learn it was an anomaly. We’re painfully slow writers deleting at least as many words as we write. I just chopped 35,000 words off this story we’re working on.

Kris Michaels: If you had a walk on song, you know the song that baseball players have blaring from speakers when they come up to bat, what would the songs be for you?

Kindle Alexander: What’s a song with lots of pain and crying?

Interviewer Note: Bon Jovi anything is what I hear when I imagine the Kindles walking toward home plate

Kris Michaels: Do you write full time?

Yee-ha! Click to buy.

Kindle Alexander: Is this some sort of preconceived question based on the answers you think we’ll give? Are you suggesting I should stop and get a day job? 😊

Interviewer Note: I may have written these questions after my second whiskey for the evening, but I loved the answer!

Kris Michaels: If I stranded you on a mountain top and only allowed you access to three books to read until the spring thaw (three total, not each…shakes finger at Kindle, I’m watching you) what three books would they be?

Kindle Alexander: A heavy book to kill bugs and mosquitoes. Another should be how to cook in the wilderness and probably another on how to construct a house with only rocks and my girlie attitude as tools. If I get a fourth one, something that teaches me how to make vodka out of pine trees.

Kris Michaels: What is your favorite thing about writing in the M/M genre?

Kindle Alexander: At different times I’ve had different answers, but my honest answer is everything. I love guy with guy. I tend to watch shows with MM involvement, I volunteer my time and money for LGBT causes, I’ve transitioned all my real-life friends into people that agree with equality for all, I love this world. I love the open mindedness that so many readers have who read gay fiction. My life is better on so many levels than ever before. We’ve gotten lots of hate from both inside and outside the genre, but even factoring that in, nothing is as good being a part of this world.

Kris Michaels: Tell us about the latest book you are working on. Date of anticipated release? Is it part of a series or the beginning of a series?

Kindle Alexander: We’ve stopped doing series. We have a huge cast of characters. We’ve decided to let our characters work together as needed. This next book is tentatively called Reservations, and will be out sometime late fall. Arik and Kellus as well as Tristan and Dylan are involved in this story. I believe we have names for our characters. This time it was hard to come up with both their names. Wanna know? I haven’t said this before. Levi and Thane. Thane’s name has special meaning. You’ll have to read the story to learn why. 😊

Kris Michaels: Do you still get butterflies before you hit publish?

Kindle Alexander: Oh my god -sick as a dog. We get an insane amount of hate when we publish – lots and lots of love and friendship and community, but hate too. It’s the anticipation of it all, but I can say, our friends and readers are great at building us up and standing beside us. For that, I sincerely thank each one. Kris is really good at that for us. So we’re blessed and that has to remain the focus.

Kris Michaels: If each of you had a magic wand and could change only one thing each about the world today to make it a better place, what would you change?

Kindle Alexander: For both of us, it’s the level of discord and hate spewing so freely in today’s world. It’s too much. Our world has gotten sincerely mean. Next would be healthcare.

Want to try a Kindle Alexander book? LINKS!!!

Double Full   Nice Guys series–1

For any who have not started Kindle Alexander’s Stories or will go back for a Re-read binge- you will want to use this order to get the full progression of the read:

1-Current Between Us

2-Double Full

3-Full Disclosure

4-Secret Prequel in Night Shift 2 — [Ask Kindle nicely to send you this novella.  Email: kindle@kindlealexander.com]

5-Secret

6- Closet Confession (novella from Night Shift 1)

7- Full Domain

8- Painted On My Heart

9- Reservations — coming Fall 2017

Kindle Alexander   ‪#‎top20bestsellingAuthor ‪#‎SinIsBack #loveislove

Kris Michaels believes in meeting life head on…as long as there is an ample supply of coffee, whiskey and wine! She believes love makes this crazy life worthwhile. When she isn’t writing Kris enjoys a busy life with her husband, the cop, and her two wonderful sons. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter and check out her webpage. Her latest book, Jared is available now at all major outlets. Find your copy on AmazonB&N, iBooks and Kobo.

 

Sexually Omnivorous

20 Jul

Nico Tortorella and Bethany Meyers. Photo: Luke Fontana

by Madeline Iva

There’s an actor named Nico Tortorella out there on a television show I’ve never seen. But what’s making headlines for Nico is that he’s joined part of brave young new Hollywood in saying he’s not a straight male.

He could also say he’s not cis-gender. But who really is cis-gender and likes this term? I don’t. Oh, I don’t mind the queer advocates claiming that everyone needs a term—not just the “other”. Sure, but why cis-gender? It doesn’t roll trippingly off the tongue. It sounds ugly. I don’t approve on aesthetic grounds. (Of course, it’s not like gay people picked the word ‘gay’ to describe themselves.)

How about demi-sexual? That sounds much better and describes me to a T.  It has a delicate nice sound. Demitasse, demimonde, demigod. ; >

Demi means “lesser” so if by adopting what used to be ‘normal’ I have to somehow accept a lexical smackdown, so be it – demi-sexual will do nicely. Now being demi-sexual doesn’t define exactly who it is I’m romantically in love with, but who cares!

Back to our guy Nico. He tried to describe himself as sexually fluid. No, he was told, the proper term is pan-sexual. I knew a lot of guys who were pansexual back in those ten minutes between being a teen and hitched for life to my sweetie. I did not know the term pan-sexual back then. I thought of these guys as sexually omniverrous. Just like an omnivore will eat anything, these guys would too. ; >

Pan – It means everything. The prefix is derived from the Greek πᾶν, used in English for all. It’s the same prefix for words like pandemic, panacea, Pantheon and Pangaea. A close equivalent would be the Latin prefix omni which also means everything. (Quora.com) Pan-sexual sounds rather clinical. It doesn’t sound like much of anything—except that it makes you think of pan, small, goat-like, played the pipes. Meh.

But omni–Sexually everything. Vs. Sexually all… Hmmmm. I still like my word better. It captures what I encountered in these guys—their raging appetite for sexual passion with almost everyone they encountered.

Sexually fluid, meanwhile, has a much more melodious sound.  Again, I don’t think that it’s the people who are these things who are coming up with these terms.

Nico must have been approached by the bisexuals.  The latest article in People about him shows his progression down the sexual by-ways of America.  An article just came out in which he was like: Okay, guys. Okay, people. If you really insist I will simply call myself bi-sexual.

Now, other than the Hootie and the Blowfish Song, everybody doesn’t love you if you’re bi. Nico said the Bi people have fought long and hard for recognition. They will not be overlooked. Does Nico realize how challenging it was to get that B into LBGTQ? Well it was. And Nico was like, okay, okay. I’m happy to join with you all and be bi. Third time’s a charm, right?

Also, the bi people might have pointed out – the idea of pan-sexual is that you’ll have sex with ANYONE – including trans people and cross-dressers, even someone who’s intersex. Is that what you mean Nico? And possibly Nico backed down and was like – no dude. I just meant if I like someone I have sex with them, that’s all, but no, I’ve never done it with someone who’s trans….

Photo for The Advocate by Luke Fontana

This is all conjecture of course.

Now, Nico could have said, “I’ve only had sex with cis-gender women and gay/bisexual men.” But that wouldn’t be true because….

Nico’s partner of eleven years, Bethany Meyers, identifies as a lesbian. (!) A lesbian who, until Nico came into her life, had never been sexually attracted to men, or fallen in love with a man. But she has done both with Nico. Also, she’s polyamorous. What does this mean in her case? Apparently, it means that she is in a committed relationship with him—but likes casual sex with others on the side.

[Isn’t this what we used to call cheating? Not really. We now recognize that people can be romantically attracted to one sex AND sexually attracted to another sex. Sometimes who we love is not who we want to have sex with and vice versa. It’s not cheating unless it’s with your nanny and you didn’t check in with Gwen about it first. *Cough-Gavin Rosedale-Cough*.]

How bold of Nico and Bethany to come out with all of this in Hollywood—which is chock-a-block with lesbians, gays, queers, and people of every stripe in between—but which has been notoriously conservative when it comes to actor’s sexuality and their ability to get roles.

Women were the first to break out of this box, because no one on the face of planet earth has ever really minded the idea of two hot women having sex. As long as a woman identified as bi–not queer or lesbian. The L-word—despite the TV show—is not cool. I mean, look at how long it took Jodi Foster to come out of the closet! But in the last year or so a few young leading women have jumped on the bi-wagon.  Then some men started to join them on the bi-bandwagon.

In doing so—and in finding acceptance with their audiences—they have come to create a line in Hollywood. If you’re on one side you’re old. If you’re on the other side where all the gender fluidity is, you’re au currant, young, hip and fresh. You’re connected with younger folk who are choosing their sexuality the way people used to chose their Jimmy Choo’s.

Pick which side of the line you’re on stars! On one hand everyone desperately wants to appear young and in the know. On the other hand, these people making headlines are new to the industry and this is getting them attention…will they be cut off in the casting room on the quiet by studios? We don’t know yet.

Nico, meanwhile, told The Advocate he’d rather wait until he feels love for the other person. Nico, my friends–like myself–is a demi-sexual.  Ahhhhhh! Feels so good, doesn’t it Nico?

The thing I like about this couple is that he’s for sexual fluidity—and that makes sense given that she seems pretty sexually fluid herself. Yet I tremble for them a little. There’s a segment of the gender wars that doesn’t like sexual fluidity. Sexual fluidity implies that one can move from having sexual attraction for one sex to another sex. And if that’s possible, well, then, you can ‘train’ gay people not to be gay. And we don’t want that, do we? No, we do not. Meanwhile, lesbians are never thrilled with anyone who likes women but then ends up liking a guy. No, queer folk don’t like that kind of narrative at all.

I see the problems here, but ultimately, I back the side most willing to admit life is gloriously messy. What’s so wrong with taking things on a case by case basis? Isn’t sexual freedom ultimately about not having to fit into any particular sexual shoebox?

Yes, we all are grateful to those people who devoted their lives to saying there’s more than one shoebox out there. But isn’t it okay to expand upon that philosophy and keep broadening our sexual horizons?

In the end, I like Bethany and Nico’s story. I like that they are young, and brave, and honest about who they are—knowing that they could get it on all sides.  I like that they explored and wandered outside the lines when it came to their love. There’s a kind of vulnerability at the core of their complicated love story – and ultimately, I back Nico and Bethany because there story is about love.

We’re ON FIRE this week over Rachel Kramer Bussel’s latest anthology. (See what I did there?)  Couples exploring their sexual needs together — just like Nico and Bethany!  Just like YOU! Click to buy it now —

Madeline Iva writes fantasy and paranormal romance.  Her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, featuring a magic geek heroine, is available on AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo, and through iTunes.  Sign up for Madeline Iva news & give aways.

The ‘O’ in ‘Team’: Would You Hire a Sex Coach?

11 Jul
You could go all the way. Heyo!

You could go all the way. Heyo!

By Alexa Day

Hello, neighbors! I’m hard at work this morning — FOR YOU — but I wanted to leave you with something to think about today. So think about this oldie but goodie from way back when. I’ll catch up to you again soon.

As part of my Post-Tax Clutter Purge and Shred Festival, I gathered up a lot of my old magazines to send to various magazine-seeking charities. Among this year’s odd discoveries were a stash of Cosmopolitans (not sure how those got here), a Playgirl (I know exactly how that got here), a People Sexiest Man Alive issue with Pierce Brosnan on the cover, and the June 2012 issue of GQ.

I got rid of the Cosmos, stashed the Playgirl and the People, and sat down with the GQ. I always enjoy my time with GQ. It’s nice to keep track of high fashion for men because real life is not providing me with useful examples of what erotic romance characters wear. But the June 2012 issue answered two questions for me and raised a third.

Question 1: What is this fascination with Michael Fassbender? The June 2012 issue features a lovely interview with Mr. Fassbender, who is a better looking fellow than I had first supposed. I think I was wrongly blaming him for whatever is now happening to the X-Men movie franchise. I hope he’ll forgive me for that someday.

Question 2: Where has Mark Strong been all my life? Mr. Strong is in the June 2012 issue, too, along with a handful of iconic movie villains. Big as life, with a safety pin in his mouth. He’s been right in front of me, apparently. I spent a little time imagining how the words “right in front of you” would sound in that voice. Then I had a really cold beverage and returned to my reading.

Question 3: Would I hire a sex coach to watch me have sex in the comfort and privacy of my home and then help me out with some pointers? Here’s a link to the article I read about Eric Amaranth. Check it out, along with the best headline ever.

Would I? Would you? Think about it.

Oh, come on. If you had an answer that quickly, you didn’t really think about it. Think about it.

Tab A in the slot formation.

Tab A in the slot formation.

First, let’s look at this in a general sense. I don’t mind telling you that I don’t know everything there is to know about sex. In fact, I would shy away from people who told me they did know everything there is to know. I’m delighted to report that there’s more for me to know and that the body of knowledge gets bigger every day. I keep a reading list and a little library here. I want to achieve my best possible performance sexually, and why not? I mean, I’m not putting any pressure on myself (heyo!). I just wonder if it’s possible to have more than what I have right now, and I think that’s a nice thing to wonder about.

But would I want a coach right here on the sidelines? Do I want that sort of practical hands-on and hands-off (mine on, his off) study?

I honestly don’t know. Seriously, I can’t answer that question. With the right partner, it might make for quite the experience. Even without a partner, it still has the potential to be fascinating.

And let’s consider our alternatives. There’s book learnin’, which is spectacular but has its limits. There’s personal experience, which is as limited as the person; bedding Tom only teaches you how to bed Tom, and only as well as he knows at the time. It leaves much to learn about bedding Dick and Harry. It also leaves out the things Tom doesn’t know but would like to know if he knew about them.

On top of that, there’s the lure of knowledge for knowledge’s sake. The world offers no more seductive whisper than this: “There’s so much more to learn.”

(Darn you, Mark Strong. Darn you to heckfire.)

So would I? Would you? Let me know what you think.

And remember: there’s no ‘I’ in Lady Smut. Follow us and see.

Rules? There *Are* No Rules–When It Comes To Love

29 Jun

by Madeline Iva

Airplane ride coming up? Click to buy.

Life is messy.  We know that.  I grab a romance to escape from all that chaos that whomps down on my head every so often.  Okay, frequently.  I call romances happiness machines. Though sometimes we love romances that it makes us ugly cry.  So…okay, catharsis machines.  And yet…sometimes I yearn for less romance tidiness.  Sometimes I just really like it when an author breaks all the rules.

If you know of any romances you LOVE that ‘break the rules’ –please let us know about them.  You can comment down below or post to our Lady Smut FB page. If you reallllly want to get into the nitty gritty about sex that breaks the rules in erotic romance books or erotica–about why you like it anyway (and believe me, I’m all ears) — then you’ll want to request that we add you to our Lady Smut Speakeasy –a private group on FB. Come talk to us there and tell us allll about it. ; >

I’ve talked before about Never Sweeter and Untamed.  Both are books that had my eyes widening and saying out loud “OH MY GOD!” But here are two books that break the rules quietly — and firmly.

REMINISCENT HEARTS by Rachel De Lune has that hot, “gotta have you, rip your clothes off right now” kind of sex that I always really love.  Ohhh, but Rachel De Lune makes you wait for it.

Here’s my blurb for Reminiscent Hearts:

Lily wants the bad boy Jake.  But Lily ends up doing what any sane, intelligent heroine would do. She gets together with someone equally wonderful, without all the twisted parts, and they live happily ever after.  Until they don’t.  When Jake runs into Lily again, things have changed.  She’s totally changed.  Now there are no rules. 

So shivery delicious.  The thing is this: I was told as a would-be romance author you CAN’T DO THAT.  You can’t show the heroine falling happily in love with someone else.  Noooooo.

Why not? This book shows that you can do it, and it’s a perfectly wonderful read.

Because readers don’t like heroines who are promiscuous is why.  But coming out of the sexual dark ages, let’s be real.  Most people in life that we know have had sex with more than one partner by the time they’re thirty.  And they’ve been in more than one happy relationship.  If you read the book, it’s quite clear that Lily is about as far from promiscuous as you can get without belonging to a religious cult or something.

But I have to say, that I quite like and cheer for someone who doesn’t succumb to the alpha male treatment, who doesn’t sign up for a relationship with a young ass-hat.  Jake needs to grow up some and gain some control–and he’s not ready for Lily until then…he doesn’t deserve her until then.

I whiffled right through it in one plane ride.  You will enjoy it too! Buy it here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MTBPL5O?tag=books2read02-20

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Reminiscent-Hearts-Rachel-Lune/dp/194645415X

itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/reminiscent-hearts/id1198006612

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/reminiscent-hearts

$4.99. Click to buy.

THE ART OF THREE by Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese is a book I’ve just started, so I can’t say anything about where it goes or how it ends–or even what kind of sex is in it.  It’s described as “contemporary romance/queer romance”. I’m already getting the feeling this is definitely NOT erotic romance and that with two bi-sexual men, it’s not menage either.  It’s polyamory.

I’m finding it terrifically soothing.

So far, everyone is behaving well towards each other, even though the characters constantly find themselves in social situations that are tricky to navigate.  I’m just at the part where the hot movie star is not seducing his hot male co-star, because the co-star is too sleepy. Yes, it’s that kind of book.  If you’re looking for a romance that’s modern, that celebrates instead of clashes, you’ll want this book.  It’s as good as settling down on your couch with a throw and the best cup of tea ever.

Buy it here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Art-Three-Erin-McRae-ebook/dp/B01MZ4TY7Y

Oh, and check out their website: https://avian30.com/about/

And follow them on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Erin.and.Racheline

Meanwhile, follow us on Lady Smut — we’ll soothe your sensitive soul.

Madeline Iva writes fantasy and paranormal romance.  Her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, featuring a magic geek heroine, is available on AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo, and through iTunes.  Sign up for Madeline Iva news & give aways.

Disclaimer: I met Rachel De Lune recently at a writing retreat and we instantly bonded, I now consider her a friend.  I know Rachel Maltese via a facebook group we both joined.  

Beta Me, Baby

26 Jun

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

By now, pretty much everyone on the planet with the slightest connection to me knows of my mad love for Wonder Woman the movie and Wonder Woman in general. Loud and proud, baby. Loud and proud.

 

The film has stuck with me for weeks. I saw it a second time with a friend for whom it was a first-time viewing, and found even more to love about it. Those Amazons. Strewth.

 

I’m currently caught on the marvel (heh) that is Steve Trevor, the beta male. Amongst all the awesome female kick-assedness of the film, Steve Trevor is not so quietly being equally awesome. I touched on this a bit in my blog about the movie.

Because Steve respects her and he is absolutely not at any moment ever made to feel less of a man by her or because of her. He also doesn’t hesitate to follow her, to have her back while acknowledging her leadership. Nor does he think she’s less due to her gender. He doesn’t have to make her little to feel big. There’s no proving to be done by either one of them. She has her part and he has his and they both go to do them, no matter the personal cost. They are fully partners. When Steve fights with the Amazons on the beach, he doesn’t try to protect them or underestimate them. He immediately assesses their skill and fights side by side with them. More, he learns from them and proves this later in the movie when he copies an Amazon move in order to help Diana during another battle, sure she’ll instantly know what he means because he’s aware of her skill and training and more, confident she can carry it out to fruition. And he loves her, fast and sure as happens in such movies, but he doesn’t love her expecting her to change or become someone else or to set aside what she believes in or must do because of that love. He loves her for who she is, and makes him better, makes him want to be better.

Any cursory scan of my blogging history shows my affinity for the alpha male, at least in print and TV/films. In real-life, I can put up with that bossy, tough guy BS for about half a second before the guy has to show me something more. A guy can be masculine and manly and not be a jackhole about it, alpha or no. And this, I’m begging to believe, is the core of the beta hero, of which Steve Trevor may be the perfect example.

You lead, I’ll follow

I texted with my best friend about Steve Trevor this week.

Her: I dig the beta hero, so I’m biased.

Me: A lot of women do and if they were all like Steve Trevor, I’d definitely go there. I think he’s a mix of  both [alpha and beta]. Goes to show that beta doesn’t automatically mean weak or not a leader of men.

Her: He’s absolutely both and definitely a good example of someone willing to share the load. Smart enough to take the reigns and give them back as the situation changes. He doesn’t constantly have to prove himself. And I think the beta part comes through in that he doesn’t try to change everyone’s opinions of [Diana]. He tries to keep her somewhat within the social boundaries so they can be effective (not because he feels those boundaries are good) but lets her prove her own worth to others. So, not take-charge in that way, but sexy because he knows it’s unnecessary.

My bestie is one super smart lady.

With Steve Trevor on the brain, I paid more attention to Mon-el in the TV show Supergirl.

Chris Wood as Mike/Mon-El and Melissa Benoist as Kara/Supergirl Photo: Robert Falconer/The CW 2017 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

I’m not a fan of Supergirl, or, more accurately, I don’t want to be a fan of Supergirl. I really don’t want to like this show for Reasons. Yet I find myself absently watching it, usually reruns and usually around 7 AM on weekdays when I’m doing my FitBit and lifting free weights and need the distraction. But Supergirl is girlie and feminist, empowering and a little campy. And in season two, it introduce a perfect beta male.

Mon-el starts out as a self-serving boy toy who isn’t so much interested in using his powers for good as is for using his powers to score. But as the season progresses (I’m guessing here a bit; I haven’t seen most of the season, only the first three and the back nine episodes. Don’t want to like it, remember?). Anyway, as the season progresses, and he and Kara, aka Supergirl, fall in love, he becomes less a dude bro and more the perfect beta male and partner for his super-powered woman.

Ah. Young, superpowered love.

Mon-el is not left with no role to play. His powers are different than Kara’s and so how he can help in their missions differs too. But he’s learning from her all the time, much like Steve Trevor learns from Diana and the Amazons. At the end of the season, again like Steve Trevor, Mon-el sacrifices himself and his and Kara’s happiness in order to save the world. Literally. He does this because he’s learned this kind of sacrificial service from Kara. And, again like Steve Trevor, he knows in making that sacrifice that he’s leaving the more powerful person behind to carry on.

I’m not of the belief that only beta males can be this layered and complex, this manly and yet not the primary in all things. Dyson of the Lost Girl series is unabashedly (and literally) an alpha wolf (and, admittedly, occasionally a bit of an emotional dumb ass). As he falls for the succubus Bo and as, episode by episode, they become partners in crime solving, he defers to her when the situation warrants it, none of which makes him any less alpha be it wolf or man. They save each other, time and again, not because one or the other is weak or incapable, but because they each have their own strengths and often, Bo’s is the greater one in the situation. (At least in season one. I’m still trying to ignore most of season two, all of season three, when the man-hating began in earnest, and the majority of seasons five and six.)

Above all, these “beta’ males are not de-fanged of their masculinity because of a powerful woman. Powerful in their own rights, be it as a super-powered alien from another planet or as a superior leader of men, a truly heroic person, who is as human as the guy next to him, or an outright alpha male who isn’t a bully or a jackhole, when partnered with a woman vastly more powerful than they are in physical capabilities, they are not made lesser–they do not feel lesser–which is super sexy.

We need more of these complex, empowered, layered, kinds of men in fiction today, because there are, I’m convinced, far many of them in real-life than media would lead us to believe. In which case, beta me, baby. Beta me.

Do you have a favorite book or TV beta boyfriend? Give him a shout out in the comments.

Now available exclusively from Kindle. Click image to buy!

Follow Lady Smut and sign up for our newsletter so you never miss the sexy. Alpha, beta, or gamma–we take all comers.

Writer, singer, editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten Hallie Krum avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities straight is hard enough work. She writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense. Her debut romantic suspense novel, WILD ON THE ROCKS, is a finalist for InD’Tale Magazine’s prestigious RONE award! Visit her website at www.kierstenkrum.com and find her regularly over sharing on various social media via @kierstenkrum.

 

Loving, Fiercely: Fifty Short Years

13 Jun

I bow to the Loving Project, both for this image and for their spectacular coverage of Loving Day 50.

By Alexa Day

Yesterday, June 12, 2017, was the fiftieth anniversary of the United States Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia, which made interracial marriage legal across the country. Loads of adorable interracial couples took to the Internet yesterday to thank Richard and Mildred Loving for their determination to defend their marriage against long-standing state law. This super-cute gallery is from last year, but couples turn up every year to smooch and be thankful.

Every year, someone asks me the same question.

“Alexa, are people still opposed to interracial marriage? After all this time, is that still a thing?”

In fairness, I have not heard that question yet this year. Maybe current events are answering the dubious for me. Nothing like hearing that some specimen left a noose at the National Museum of African American History and Culture to convince a person that yes, Virginia, people do still have an issue with racial equality.

But I’m going to approach this question squarely and honestly, by asking all of you to approach this question squarely and honestly. Take an objective look at the world around you.

Consider that 33 years after the Loving decision, Alabama finally got around to taking their anti-miscegenation law off the books. Consider that somewhere out there, someone’s first thought was that if the law was invalid anyway, why shouldn’t it hang out on the books for 33 years?

Consider that in 2009, there was a justice of the peace who would take the time to determine if a couple was interracial before refusing to marry them. In 2009. You might recall that the President of the United States at that time was the product of an interracial marriage.

And consider the many, many people who still endure hostile stares, snide remarks, ignorant questions, longstanding arguments with their families, and the occasional bold stranger who demands to know why they’ve chosen to marry outside their race. This will seem odd in a world where Richonne and a black Bachelorette and the golden days of Scandal are fresh in people’s minds. But in the real world, out there on the sidewalk with you, someone’s mom is being mistaken for the nanny. This happens all over the world, every day. Hip hop artist Eve, athletic goddess Serena Williams, and Prince Harry’s honey Meghan Markle have all had to take questions about the intersection of their racial identities and their love lives, and I promise that if it is happening to the three of them in the public eye, someone you know is having to deal with nastier questions.

So how do we fight this?

How a man looks at his wife is one thing. How he looks at the camera is quite another.

Take a lesson from Richard Loving. This is my favorite photo of him, with his arm around his wife. Mildred is smiling at someone off to our right, perhaps in the middle of a cheerful conversation about something other than being at the center of this court case.

Richard is looking right at us. His is the face of a man who knows his job is to keep his wife smiling, who takes his job very seriously, and who dares a nation of lookie-loos to make something of it.

Tell the Court I love my wife.

Or, if you’ll let me put frank language into his mouth: Fuck you. We’re happy.

How do we beat bigotry?

Choose happiness. Do it consistently, especially when people seem determined to make trouble. I can tell you from experience that this is harder than it sounds. One can only hear ignorant questions about what the sex is like or what everyone’s parents think so many times before wanting to flip out.

But today, we are much closer to a world where no one takes issue with marriage equality because of two ordinary people who wouldn’t back down. The least we can do is follow their example.

Love fiercely, my friends. And follow Lady Smut.

Speaking of loving fiercely, esteemed colleague Elizabeth SaFleur has a new release this week. Lucky is about a different sort of opposites attracted to each other, but my guess is that you can count on more BDSM in Lucky than in the average Supreme Court opinion. Click to score your copy of this super hot book about two people accustomed to getting what they want.

Click and go get it!

Billionaire, entertainment investor and resolute bachelor Derek Damon Wright and dance studio owner Samantha Rose are unprepared for their mutual attraction to one another. She desperately wants to have a baby, and family doesn’t match Derek’s sophisticated life of private jets, vacations in the Caribbean and his BDSM activities. Yet a magnetic passion draws them closer—at least until their past mistakes arise and threaten all hope of a real future.

All of the Above: Can Romance Play the Field?

6 Jun

What’s wrong with this picture? Not a damned thing.

By Alexa Day

I’m reading a book right now in which the heroine enjoys the abundant sexual charms of three partners. My guess is that she’ll eventually choose one of them — the cover for the next book in the series features two guys instead of three. But right now, she’s making no move to settle down.

The book is Taking Turns by J.A. Huss, and the heroine has an agreement with the three men. There are a number of stipulations, but once I heard that their arrangement basically entailed their putting her up in a nice apartment to take turns sleeping with her, I knew this was a story I needed to have.

It is romance’s most binding promise: the heroine will win, every time.

We can be sure that at the end of the story, she will be in a good place in her relationship, whatever that might look like. Maybe she’s getting ready to settle down with one guy. Maybe she’s establishing a relationship with a couple of guys (or more) in a relationship unit. I don’t object to that. Not really.

But this week, a troubling question tugged at my imagination.

Is the heroine winning big enough?

Put another way, why choose? Whatever happened to D: all of the above?

The modern romance heroine is a smart, successful, attractive woman. In the 21st century, a woman like that could — and honestly, ought to — have her choice of men. Indeed, more than one man would certainly be interested in her. But the modern romance heroine has less reason to settle down than ever. She’s at the top of her game, and she probably knows it. Why should she ever limit herself?

Even if she ultimately decides to choose one partner, why shouldn’t she take full advantage of what men have to offer first?

Chella is LIVING THE DREAM. Click to get some of that good stuff for yourself.

It’s important to note that this is neither menage nor polyamory. Both menage and polyamory involve multiple partners, yes. But in both situations, the men are aware of each other and have consented to share. They’re in a unit. Choosing menage or polyamory is settling down.

I’m talking about playing the field, in all its springtime glory, for as long as men will permit it. I’ve written it before. The heroine of Illicit Impulse has a bestie with benefits and an object of her more chaste desire. And in “Three, After Midnight,” the heroine enjoys a night of bliss with the spirit of her deceased husband, who’s borrowing the body of a hottie she seduced for that purpose.

Where’s the fun in limiting a fabulous heroine to one man, right? Why not let her have as much as she wants for as long as she wants to have it and her partners are willing to supply it?

I think there’s a group of romance readers who want, need and long for a heroine who is desired by many men, and who is determined to enjoy her status for as long as possible. I think romance readers need to know that in our abundant world, their heroine is free to lick as many men as will permit it. Their heroine doesn’t live in a world of masculine scarcity, and neither do they.

Consider Scandal in its golden days. For a long while, Olivia Pope thoroughly enjoyed the attentions of the President of the United States and the enigmatic Jake Ballard. When they had the audacity to suggest she choose one of them, she laughed and said she chose herself instead. She went right on sleeping with the both of them for as long as they permitted it — until Jake decided he wasn’t getting what he needed from the arrangement and bowed out.

And I’m reminded of a formative experience.

Look at those eyes, pleading, “Pick me! Pick me!”

I saw Tequila Sunrise in the theater in 1988, when I was quite young and impressionable. In the film, restaurant owner Michelle Pfeiffer must choose between reformed drug dealer Mel Gibson and police lieutenant Kurt Russell. That might not be a tough call today, knowing what we know, but in 1988, that was not an easy decision to make at all. I’m proud to say that Michelle spent the entire movie trying to make up her mind, and when it was all over, I left wondering how I could become a restaurant owner.

If Tequila Sunrise has a moral, it was to tell this child of the 80s that she could, in fact, have it all.

There should probably be limitations. The requirement that each men know about the others is not just about informed consent; I think it actually keeps everyone at their sharpest and most competitive. And of course, everyone would be free to stop playing as soon as things stopped working for them. Even in “Three, After Midnight,” the wrestling coach who found himself possessed by an eager spirit exercised his option to back out.

But with that in mind, why shouldn’t a heroine explore as many men — and as many relationships — as she wants?

Is there room in romance for a heroine to find more than one happily ever after, with more than one man, in more than one relationship?

Is it time for D: all of the above?

Follow Lady Smut. We won’t make you pick a lane.

Alexa Day is the USA Today bestselling author of erotica and erotic romance with heroines who are anything but innocent. In her fictional worlds, strong, smart women discover excitement, adventure, and exceptional sex. A former bartender, one-time newspaper reporter, and licensed attorney, she likes her stories with just a touch of the inappropriate, and her literary mission is to stimulate the intellect and libido of her readers.

 

Guess the Lady Smut TBR Stack–Win $10 Amazon Gift Card!

4 May

Hi RT Orphans! Does your TBR pile have some of the same titles as ours? Let us know–leave us a comment below. 🙂 Want to buy the book on our TBR list? Click the link.  Meanwhile, here’s another fun game you can play at home.

FIRST Read the TBR lists. THEN guess which list belongs to which blogger. Your blogger choices are below & we’ve abbreviated the longer names for you. We also provided some hints.  THE FINAL STEP IS TO email us at LadySmutBlog@gmail.com with your guesses. The first reader to email us the most correct answers wins a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

CONTEST ENDS FRIDAY MAY 5th AT 12PM PST!!!!!

OUR BLOGGERS:

Elizabeth Shore

G.G. Andrew

Kiersten Hallie Krum (KHK)

Alexa Day

Rachel Kramer Bussel (RKB)

Elizabeth SaFleur (ESF)

Isabelle Drake

Thien-Kim Lam (TKL)

Madeline Iva

Ready to play? Here we go——

Lady Smut TBR List #1

Hint: This blogger is a foodie who loves diverse romances & sex toys

  1. Alpha by Jasinda Wilder
  2. Nine Kinds of Naughty by Jeanette Grey
  3. The Muse by Anne Calhoun
  4. Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal
  5. Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai

Lady Smut TBR List #2

Hint: This blogger likes to share all after a few dirty dates. ; > 
  1. The Pawn by Skye Warren
  2. Trophy Wife by Alessandra Torre
  3. The Truth About Love and Dukes by Laura Lee Guhrke
  4. An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole
  5. The Night Mark by Tiffany Reisz

Lady Smut TBR List #3

Hint: This blogger is a big fan of New Adult romances, secrets, and other crazy, sexy topics.

  1. Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia
  2. Radio Silence by Alyssa Cole
  3. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
  4. Deadly Testimony by Piper Drake
  5. Ghostland: An American History of Haunted Places by Colin Dickey

Lady Smut TBR List #4

Hint: This erotica author loves blogging about TWD, kidnapping & a few other illicit topics.

  1. Truly Helpless by Joey W. Hill
  2. All the Lies We Tell by Megan Hart
  3. Les Liaisons dangereuses by Pierre Chorderlos de Laclos
  4. Slow Surrender by Cecilia Tan
  5. The Infamous Miss Rodriguez by Lydia San Andres

Lady Smut TBR List #5

Hint: This blogger is wild about reviewing her fav authors.

  1. Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai
  2. The List by Tawna Fenske
  3. Madly by Ruthie Knox
  4. Beyond Doubt by Kit Rocha
  5. Edge of Ruin (set of 3 Viking Dystopian Novellas) by Megan Crane

Lady Smut TBR List #6

Hint: This author blogs about edgy topics of desire including: swallowing, tattooing, cross-dressing–even Jewish Swingers. 

  1. Purity by Jonathan Franzen
  2. The Fireman by Joe Hill
  3. Finders Keepers by Stephen King
  4. The Book of Lost Fragrances by MJ Rose
  5. Beyond Ruin by Kit Rocha

Lady Smut TBR List #7

Hint: When this author wasn’t all tied up, she’s blogged about CW’s Riverdale.

  1. Lilith’s Brood by Octavia E. Butler
  2. The Vegetarian by Han Kang
  3. DC Comics Bombshells: Enlisted by Marguerite Bennett & Marguerite Sauvage
  4. Initiates of the Blood by Cecilia Tan
  5. The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

Lady Smut TBR List #8

Hint: This blogger is a capital BDSM Erom author

  1. Bombshell by CD Reiss
  2. Truly Helpless by Joey W. Hill
  3. Royally Matched by Emma Chase
  4. The Chosen by J.R. Ward
  5. The List by Anne Calhoun

Lady Smut TBR List #9

Hint: This author loves blogging about wicked villains & paranormal television shows.

  1. Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
  2. The Unlikeable Demon Hunter by Deborah Wilde
  3. Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman
  4. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
  5. A Darker Shade of Magic V.E. Schwab
Send off those answers and follow us at Lady Smut. If you want to know the about the latest fun when it comes to sex, romance books, and pop culture–we won’t leave you guessing.
Madeline Iva writes fantasy and paranormal romance.  Her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, featuring a magic geek heroine, is available on AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo, and through iTunes.  Sign up for Madeline Iva news & give aways.

No Swinging, Please, We’re Jewish

19 Apr

By Elizabeth Shore

It’s pretty damn fun to be decadently naughty, isn’t it? To luxuriate in clandestine fantasies and hedonistic playtime that might make your friends utter a collective gasp if they knew you did such things. To have a secret, bad-girl self can be heady indeed, which of course is all part of the draw.

But what if indulging in your fantasies could result in total banishment from the life you know if you were ever discovered? What if you could lose your children, your emotional and financial support system, your house, your friends, your job, your family. Would you still risk all to do what you want to do? Be who you want to be? Such is the question that “Monica” and “James,” members of the Ultra-Orthodox Satmar Jewish sect, had to answer for themselves. ‘Cause the thing is, Monica and James are die-hard swingers.

An article in the New York Post last month profiled their story. By all outward appearances, they’re a conservative, late 30’s Ultra-Orthodox Jewish couple living rule-abiding lives and raising rule-abiding children in strict accordance with their faith. But when the lights go down the wigs and yarmulkes come off. James and Monica might have a delicious little ménage planned, or they might each have dates and sexy time with other people. Doesn’t matter to them. They love to swing and swing they do – keeping it all as top secret as Area 51.

Their clandestine lifestyle is not without risk. As they admit in the article, the consequences of discovery would be dire, including total banishment from their religion and community. Yet not only do they embrace their open-marriage, swinging lifestyle, but they took the risk a step further in order to share their story with the New York Post. As it turns out, Monica and James are skeptics about their faith. Outwardly, they maintain appearances to hold on to their network of friends and family. Privately, they have doubts and they want other Hasidic couples who may be struggling in the same way to know they’re not alone.

Looking at Monica and James’ situation from the outside, one might wonder why they don’t just ditch their religious lifestyle. They no longer believe in the faith, they’re hideously restricted by rules, they lead double lives and have to lie to friends, family, and their kids in order to do what they want. Why not bid it all a big fat sayonara and move on? Well, as one can obviously guess, it’s not that easy. Within the confines of a strict religious sect comes a loss of individuality. One’s choices are based on teachings and rules versus free will, and how life operates outside of the sect isn’t necessarily familiar. An interesting article in The Guardian about defectors who leave those strict communities details their struggles to adjust.

For the Monicas and James’s in this world, leaving what they know isn’t an option, so they accept the fact that they have to slink around like teenagers breaking curfew. For them the risk is worth it, not only for the sexual freedom but the emotional fulfillment as well. Monica has to develop some sort of emotional connection before taking on a prospective lover, which is A-OK by James. As he says, “It’s been beautiful to watch Monica fall in love with someone else.”

It seems to me that exploring a situation like this would be a hell of a great romance. It’s got all the ingredients of a page-turning best seller: cloak-and-dagger double life, big risk, possible disastrous consequences, and of course, steaming hot sex. Yum-o! I see book plots galore! Jewish heros and heroines are practically non-existent in romance. Hey…does anyone hear knocking? I think opportunity might be at the door.

And speaking of opportunity…Join LadySmut bloggers at the RT Booklovers Convention May 3-7, especially at our super special reader event – Never Have You Ever, Ever, Ever. Win crowns, fetish toys, books and more! Goodybags to first 100 people in line! Wednesday, May 3 at 1:30.

 

Elizabeth Shore writes both contemporary and historical erotic romance. Her newest book is an erotic historical novella, Desire Rising, from The Wild Rose Press. Other releases include Hot Bayou Nights and The Lady Smut Book of Dark Desires

 

 

 

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