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Interview with Jermaine Gadson, Author of Tactics, Trends, and Traits of the Enemy

Jermaine Gadson headshotJermaine Gadson is the Senior Pastor of Faith Ministries, Inc., a non-traditional church located in Birmingham, AL. Prior to starting Faith Ministries, he served as an associate minister, youth minister, and pastor for local churches and ministries in the greater Birmingham area.  While, growing up in the Baptist church, he gave his life to Christ at an early age, and is a third generation minister of the Gospel. 

He holds a B.A. in Religion with a Concentration in Congregational Studies and a Minor in Classics from Samford University, and a Master of Divinity from Beeson Divinity School of Samford University.  He is currently a Doctor of Ministry student at Beeson Divinity School.  

Gadson enjoys reading, writing, sports, outdoors, movies, and spending time with his family. He is happily married to his wife Kristy and they have one beautiful daughter, Khloe. 

Visit Pastor Gadson online at www.JermaineGadson.com.

Thank you for this interview, Jermaine. Can you tell us what your latest book, Tactics, Trends, and Traits of the Enemy, is all about?

Yes, Tactics, Trends, and Traits, of the Enemy is about equipping people with the knowledge and wisdom to overcome various struggles in life that are a direct result of spiritual adversity. This book takes the spookiness out of spiritual warfare by exposing the Enemy’s strategies that present themselves in struggles that people face every day, that they may not be aware of as demonic attacks.

How did you come up with the idea?

The idea for the book came from reflecting on my own life and some of the experiences that I have had, thinking about questions and concerns that I have encountered in providing pastoral counseling to others, as well as gleaning from a Bible study series that I taught at my church.

What kind of research did you do before and during the writing of your book?

Most of the research for the book came from studying the Bible, and looking at various stories, passages, and illustrations that dealt with the various topics that are dealt with in the book.  A person who is interested in the Bible or who enjoys Bible study material will enjoy this book.  Those who are familiar with the Bible, as well as those who are not as familiar, will be challenged to look at certain passages of Scripture in a new way.  The material in this book is not what you would find in a typical Sunday school lesson. You will be inspired, encouraged, enlightened, and even surprised by what you will find.

If a reader can come away from reading your book with one valuable message, what would that be?

One valuable message that a reader can come away with is the understanding that knowledge is power.  People are destroyed because of a lack of knowledge. The more we know about the Enemy and his strategies, the better we are equipped to identify his tactics, and ultimate defeat him.

Can you give us a short excerpt?Tactics, Trends and Traits of the Enemy Cover

As human beings, we are not just flesh and blood. We are spirit beings also. Our lives are shaped and impacted by the reality and intertwining of two realms: the spirit and the natural. The natural realm is the one that we are the most familiar with. However, our lack of familiarity with the spirit realm does not negate its existence, nor render powerless its influence in our lives. The spirit realm is just as real and impactful as the natural, and even more so. For everything that you see and experience in the natural, there is something that corresponds to it in the spirit.

With that being said, we have to understand that we have an enemy: a real enemy, a spiritual enemy. This enemy is an adversary against God, humanity, and everything that God has created. His name is Satan. He and his army of countless devils will stop at nothing to destroy God’s great creation, namely the human race.

In this book, I am sharing insights that I have gained from my study of the Bible, personal experiences as a believer, and nearly ten years of experience as a pastor and fifteen years as a minister. God’s people are being destroyed from a lack of knowledge. It is not God’s will for His people to be ignorant of Satan’s devices. It is God’s will that His people be equipped to stand strong and boldly against the Enemy and his devilish schemes. The purpose of this book is to equip the body of Christ to be prepared to recognize demonic tactics and attacks, resist the Devil and his forces, and stand firm in the victory that is already ours in Jesus Christ.

In your own experience, is it hard to get a nonfiction book published today?  How did you do it?

This is my first book, and it is self-published.  Self-publishing is hard work, but if you are willing to do the work to get your message out it won’t seem so bad.  Trying to get published by a traditional publisher has different dynamics, and may be more difficult for some than for others, depending on the topic, genre, publisher, and current market.

What’s a typical day like for you?

A typical day includes getting my family ready to leave home in the morning, spending time in prayer and devotion, writing, blogging and posting for my social media sites, preparing the media presentation and message for Sunday service, run errands or attend to business affairs, picking my daughter up from school, preparing and eating dinner with my family, enjoying some downtime or playtime with my daughter, debrief the day with my wife, and finally, get ready for the next day.

What’s next for you?

Next, I plan to work on a curriculum to accompany the book.  I am also preparing to write a second book to be released later this year or next year.

Thank you so much for this interview, Jermaine.  We wish you much success!

Thank you, so much for this interview. I appreciate it!

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Interview with Tim and Debbie Bishop, Authors of Two Are Better

Two Are Better new cover

About Two Are Better

From an engagement to a cross-country trip in just ten weeks? And with no experience in bicycle touring—or marriage? While Tim left behind a 26-year corporate career and familiar surroundings, Debbie was about to enter a “classroom” she hadn’t seen in her 24 years of teaching. Was it a grand getaway or a big mistake?

Purchase from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Two-Are-Better-Midlife-Newlyweds/dp/0985624825/

Purchase from Open Road Press: http://www.openroadpress.com/store/

Q: Thank you for this interview, Tim and Debbie. Can you tell us what your latest book, Two Are Better, is all about?

A: Two Are Better: Midlife Newlyweds Bicycle Coast to Coast is the true story of two lifelong singles who come together in marriage at age 52, and then cross America on a self-supported bicycle tour on their honeymoon. Issues surrounding midlife courtship, marriage, and other life changes—and the lessons learned along the way—make Two Are Better more than just a travelogue.

Q: How did you come up with the idea?

A: We decided to share our unique story of finding true love in our fifties and celebrating with a bicycling odyssey to beat all because we believe our testimony is a gift that can benefit others. We waited many years for companionship and intimate love, and had become entrenched in the grind of daily living. We think our story of breaking free will encourage, motivate, and bless people who are struggling with unfulfilled dreams and desires. And most people have them at some level. Sharing deep personal matters in the context of an adventure that others may fantasize about provides a perfect setting to engage readers with powerful and lasting impact. A dual narrative from the seat of a bicycle, as well as some captivating photography along the way, will also provide a fresh perspective on the beauty of America, and an entertaining read.

Q: What kind of research did you do before and during the writing of your book?

A: We had the benefit of writing a memoir, so much of the content is based on our own personal experience. We learned how to blog during our trip, which became a valuable aid in the writing process. Our photography, trip log, and payment receipts helped to stir the memory and fill in the gaps. Since we shared this adventure together, each of us remembered unique aspects and reminded the other. And a GPS, along with downloadable capabilities and the power of the Internet, allowed us to retrace our steps when necessary.

Q: If a reader can come away from reading your book with one valuable message, what would that be?

A: The strongest underlying message of Two Are Better is that it is NEVER too late to realize your dreams—and to fulfill your desires. There is always hope!

Q: Can you give us a short excerpt?

A: “There they were: three big ones. I could see them from afar as they began barking and sprinting down their owner’s driveway, launched like a triad of missiles at the prospect of fresh meat. The driveway was about the size of a football field, so I had some time to gather my thoughts. They seemed on pace to intercept me when I arrived at the end of what had become their racetrack. And Debbie was several feet behind me. Surely, no one on this isolated stretch of road would be investing in invisible fence technology, but I could hold out hope. Since Debbie had our only can of pepper spray, it would do me little good. And another troubling thought occurred to me: If I get through this pack in one piece, what about Debbie? She’s lagging behind and sure to encounter these snarling canines. Nevertheless, I wasn’t inclined to stop and serve up lunch on a silver platter to these mutts.”

Q: In your own experience, is it hard to get a nonfiction book published today? How did you do it?

A: We had a choice to make going into this project. Would we seek a traditional publishing solution, or venture out on our own? Swayed by the primary motivation to share the story, we decided to start our own publishing company, Open Road Press. In effect, we traded in one set of challenges for another, but we remained in control of our message and our destiny, at least until readers were to weigh in.

Q: What’s a typical day like for you?

A: Our days no longer seem typical. Since “retirement” from long-term jobs, we are both feeling our way along as we discover our new life together, and our new work models. Each day comes with its own unique challenges. Such is the nature of adventure in life!

Q: What’s next for you?

A: We’re in an exploratory stage and we have several options. Tim is considering a few ideas for another book. He also consults for two small businesses, and may seek to build upon that. Debbie wants to write a program on learning to read, using the Bible. She also has a few part-time teaching opportunities. Both of us continue to serve as volunteer hope coaches for TheHopeLine, an organization spotlighted in Two Are Better. TheHopeLine has made a difference in the lives of many young people, aged 13-29, who came to them in crisis. We count it a privilege to be involved with that organization.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Tim and Debbie. We wish you much success!

A: Thank you for this opportunity to share our thoughts with your readers. We hope that our words have encouraged them to pursue their dreams anew.

About Tim and Debbie Bishop

Tim BishopTim Bishop

Originally from Maine, Tim Bishop has over thirty years of experience in business, first as a CPA, then for many years in various roles in the corporate world. In addition to consulting for small businesses, Tim serves as a Hope Coach for TheHopeLine, a nonprofit organization that seeks to reach, rescue, and restore hurting teens and young adults.

Debbie BishopDebbie Bishop

Debbie Bishop has taught for over twenty-five years, for the past ten years as a literacy specialist in Framingham, Massachusetts. She has a passion for reading and seeing that young people do it well. She also has high interest in recovery issues and encouraging others with her own triumphs over struggles earlier in her life. Debbie also serves as a Hope Coach for TheHopeLine.

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A Conversation with T.J. MacLeslie, Author of Designed for Relationship

MacLeslie photoT.J. MacLeslie has been involved in a variety of Christian ministries since 1990, including pastoring, church planting, leadership development, prayer, and spiritual formation. He currently lives in the UK with his wife and two children where he leads a team focused on prayer and spiritual formation. You’ll often find him walking the fields with his dog, reading a book, or enjoying a warm cup of coffee.

Visit the author online at http://about.me/tj_macleslie.

Q: Thank you for this interview, T.J. Can you tell us what your latest book, Designed for Relationship, is all about?

A:  There are so many ideas about God floating around in our world today. Many present God in terms that are uninviting, and frankly, inaccurate. I grew up with a view of God as a distant and forbidding king and judge. I have joyfully discovered that while God is the King of kings and Lord of lords, He is also much more. The God of scripture is relational at His core, Father, Son, and Spirit, constantly loving and interacting. God decided to expand this community of love and created humans to be partakers of the divine nature and little images of His relational self. This is very different than the picture I received as a kid growing up in church.

The book invites you to rediscover the relational nature of God and humanity in two parts: Part One examines ancient truths in the Bible to renew our vision of God and humanity; Part Two applies these truths to our lives, using the Five Circles, a practical tool to understand what it means to be human and provide a framework for growth. All of this has come as a result of my own search for God in the confusion and chaos of the real world.

Q: How did you come up with the idea?

A: This book is a summary of the lessons I have learned in my search for truth and meaning. Along the way, I have met wonderful people who challenged me and encouraged me in my pursuit. Now, I have the opportunity to help others. It was in the process of listening to and serving others on their journey that the idea for this book came up. Some of those I have journeyed alongside kept asking me to write something down so they could share it with others. While the message of the book is ancient, the way it is assembled is unique, particularly the paradigm I call The Five Circles.

Q: What kind of research did you do before and during the writing of your book? Designed for Relationship cover

A: I spent a lot of time studying the Bible and checking everything against this unchanging standard of Truth. I also studied those who have walked similar paths through the years: from St. Augustine and St. Patrick, right through to Henry Nouwen, Dallas Willard, and David Benner. The book is heavily referenced and has an extensive bibliography, but above all this is a practical book. The lessons gleaned from others have been tried and tested in the laboratory of the real world. In a sense, my whole life has been research for this book. I draw on my own experiences as well as those of people I have worked with through the years, to share the principles and tools that we have found helpful for our journey.

Q: If a reader can come away from reading your book with one valuable message, what would that be?

A:  When we fail to understand who we are and who God is, we are missing out on the very core of what is available to us as people. There actually is an amazing, abundant, eternal kind of life available to us. Don’t give up hope! Keep searching along the ancient paths.

Q: Can you give us a short excerpt?

A: Here is a short section from Chapter 5:

People are incredibly diverse and our backgrounds are so varied that the problems we face deserve more than a ‘one size fits all’ solution. Whether we are working on our own issues or helping someone else, we need to ask questions and listen carefully to the answers. The Five Circles can guide us in asking questions, gaining insight, rightly understanding problems, identifying potential solutions, and suggesting practical steps toward healing, wholeness, and intimacy with God.

We need to be careful to remember that our relationship with God is the core pursuit. God is the One who heals and frees as we draw near to Him. If we make our goal wholeness, healing, or freedom, those goals can subtly become our idols. It is not that freedom is a bad goal, but it is not the ultimate one. I have found that as we grow closer to God we become more whole and free. We become like the thing we behold, the thing we exalt, the thing we worship. He made us for relationship with Him, and each aspect of who we are is important to that relationship. We cannot be content just to do what comes easy to us. Growing in relationship with God means embracing all of who God made us to be, and striving to become who we are. As we do that, freedom results.

Only human beings have to struggle to become who we are. Other creatures do not have a choice about what they become. Trees grow without making conscious choices. Only humans think about what we would like to become. We make decisions that affect the direction of our lives. The flip side of this is our capacity to stunt ourselves. We have the capacity for denial. We can choose to move into or withdraw from relationship. Sometimes these are conscious decisions and other times we choose them without realizing why. By pursuing God, we can cultivate awareness. We can choose to love God with all we are, leaving nothing out and holding nothing back. When we fail to love God with our mind, our will, our emotion, our spirit, or our body, we are failing in the most basic, the most central command – the command to love God with all we are.

Q: In your own experience, is it hard to get a nonfiction book published today?  How did you do it?

A: I think it is easier than ever to get a book published, particularly with digital printing and print-on-demand as options for the self-publishing author. I was fully intending to go this route for both of my books, but it seems that God had other plans.

I create in community, and invite people to read and respond to the manuscript, throughout the creative process. My goal was to hone and improve the book by getting a variety of perspectives, but an unintended consequence was the buzz being generated, and in both cases a small publisher asked to print the book.

This is my second book and my second small publisher. I feel like a small publisher has a lot of the benefits of self-publishing without the complications and loss of control that comes with a major publishing house. I like that the small publishers are responsive and are invested in marketing and selling the book, the parts that I find most difficult. I wrote the book because I wanted to help people and I believe in the message. I find the creative process to be a joy, but the publishing process to be really draining. I am happy to let someone else take the lead in the design, printing, distribution, and marketing of the book.

Q: What’s a typical day like for you?

A: I lead a team for an international missions organization, Pioneers, providing prayer and soul care for pastors and missionaries serving around the world. It is such a joy to get to listen to, pray for, and share with people who are experiencing God and helping people each day. Most days I pray with the team for people around the world, and then correspond  and talk with people that I am involved with in mentoring and spiritual companionship relationships. We live in a small town in the UK that provides some great places to walk through the fields and along the coast, so most days I take walks in the fields with my dog to connect with God and talk with Him about the people I love.

Q: What’s next for you?

A: I love my primary job, helping people to grow and experience God more day by day, and I see writing as an extension of that. I plan to explore the issues of faith, culture, and personality in fiction next. But one of the really interesting parts of living connected with God is the adventure of letting Him lead you into what’s next. I have my plans and ambitions, but if the past is any indication, my plans will have little bearing on what comes next.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, T.J.  We wish you much success!

A: Thank you for interviewing me. I pray that you will be successful in all you set your hand to, and that you will become ever more who you truly are.

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Interview with Michael Bigham, Author of Harkness

Michael Bigham photo

Raised in the mill town of Prineville in Central Oregon beneath blue skies and rimrocks, Michael Bigham attended the University of Oregon and during his collegiate summers, fought range fires on the Oregon high desert for the Bureau of Land Management. He worked as a police officer with the Port of Portland and after leaving police work, obtained an MFA degree in Creative Writing from Vermont College. Michael lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and daughter. Harkness is his first novel.

Q: Thank you for this interview, Michael. Can you tell us what your latest book, Harkness: A High Desert Mystery, is all about?

Harkness occurs during the summer of 1952 on the high desert in Central Oregon. Up to this point, the worst crime Matt Harkness, the local sheriff, has faced is two drunk cowboys playing quick draw out behind the local tavern. But now two star-crossed teen-age lovers are murdered. It’s up to Harkness to bring whoever has killed them to justice. His task is complicated by the secretive nature of the townspeople. Harkness is privy the local’s secrets and he must decide which secrets to reveal to catch the murderer.

Q:  Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

Matthew Harkness is a man formed by violence. His father died when Harkness was eight and his mother physically abused him. He left home at the age of 12, drifted around for a while and ended up living in Barnesville with his uncle. Drafted into the military during World War II, he fought in jungles New Guinea and bears both physical and emotional scars from the conflict. He strives to put aside his past, but the recent murders test his resolve. The great love of his life is Kate Barnes. The complication is that Kate is married to the local judge and most powerful man in the county, Porter Barnes.

Kate Barnes is a bright woman from local farming stock. She loves Harkness but questions his ability to commit to a long-term relationship. Like many women in the post-war era, she wants to be more than just a housewife.

The town of Barnesville is named after one of Porter Barnes’ fore bearers. He wields the real power in the county. He loves Kate in his own way, but his real passion is reserved for another.

Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination? Harkness cover

Like most writers, my characters are a mix of my imagination and bits of real people. I’ve found that if I focus too much on real people, I’m limited on what I can do with my descriptions and characterization.

Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?

I knew that Harkness would have to solve a murder and I had a vague awareness of the setting and circumstances of the climax. The journey between the two points was one of discovery and exploration.

Q: Your book is set in Barnesville.  Can you tell us why you chose this city in particular?

I grew up in a small Central Oregon lumber and ranching town called Prineville. Though my characters aren’t based all that much on reality, the town of Barnesville is. Some folks may not think my depiction is flattering in spots, but I think it’ important for a writer to give the reader a true sense of a place, warts and all.

Q: Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

Absolutely. During college, I spent my summers fighting range fires on the high desert 50 miles east of nowhere near the little village of Paulina. I came to love the stark nature of the country. It’s a landscape of juniper, sagebrush and rimrock. There you’ll find lonely vistas and fertile valleys. It’s still unspoiled by progress. If you have a chance, visit there before it all disappears. As a writer, I find that landscape plays a crucial role in developing my narrative. 

Q: Open the book to page 69.  What is happening?

A:  Sheriff Matt Harkness has just returned to his office after interviewing a suspect in the murder of a young woman. There are two people in custody in his jail; Ronnie Gearhart, who beat up his father when the man attacked his mother and Thomas Stewart, an African-American man, who by bad fortune happened to be driving through the all-white town of Barnesville and was arrested by another peace officer as a suspect in the murder. Harkness knows he will have to find the real murderer to clear Stewart.

Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts?

A:  Early in the book, Sheriff Matt Harkness drives up into the hills to tell Ethan Kelly his daughter is missing.

Ethan Kelly had his head stuck under the hood of a military deuce and a half converted into a hay truck.  The flatbed had been cobbled on in some local garage, but the job looked good enough.  If he was surprised to see me, he didn’t show it, just wiped his hands on his overalls and offered me a drink of water.  He was a smallish, slender man with bad teeth, sun-blackened arms, and the odor of three or four day’s hard labor about him.  I told him I was here about his daughter, and he got a long, sad look on his face.  He invited me into the line shack to get out of the sun.  “A man shouldn’t hear bad news in the sun.”

I told him it wasn’t as bad as all that.  I didn’t add the ‘yet’ part.  Maybe I didn’t want to admit to that part myself.

The line shack consisted of a single room about as big as the Kelly home.  Light came from kerosene lamps, and there was a hand pump next to the sink for water.  As usual with those old places, the crapper was out back, and I got to thinking about how and where Elias Warner got bit by the black widow spider.

Kelly settled into warming up the morning coffee while I told him his daughter was missing.  His shoulders sagged at the news. “I was just going to have beans for supper,” he said.  “Care to join me?”

I’d had more than my share of beans growing up and wasn’t partial to them, but I wasn’t one to let a man eat alone when he was in the sorrows, so I said yes.  The line shack creaked in the afternoon wind while Kelly opened a can of pork and beans and dumped it into a battered saucepan.  “Virginia’s a good girl,” he said.  “A pretty gal, but smart, too.”

“That’s what folks tell me.” My comment seemed to please Kelly a bit.  “They also tell me she was seeing the McIntyre boy.  What about that?”

“Her mama told her not to give it up too soon, not to get knocked-up and ruin her life.  Us folks ain’t got much in this life other than our reputation, she tells her.”  He handed me a plate of beans and a cup of Joe. “Esther seems to think that graduating from high school is important.”  He shook his head as if he wasn’t sure he agreed.  “Hope you don’t mind cowboy coffee. Last line rider up here took off with the percolator. Now we have to boil the bejesus out of the grounds.  Got some sugar if you want it.”

“Black’s fine.” The stuff looked like something you’d swab onto a flat roof.  “Joey McIntyre,” I prompted.  “Tell me about the boy and your daughter.”

Kelly allowed that he didn’t know much about his daughter’s recent dealings with McIntyre, as he’d been over in Willamette Valley for most of the summer roofing and doing pickup labor.  “The money’s good enough, but too many people in the Valley.”  So he’d asked Dirk Redmond if he might have a job on one of his ranches, and Dirk said, “Hell, yes. Come on back.” So he did.  “Esther, she frets about Virginia, sneaking out all hours of the night with God knows who.  Virginia was a hard girl to handle, being so smart and all, and Esther had her hands full taking care of all them kids and doing seamstress work on the side. Maybe we should take a switch to the child, but neither of us has the heart for it.”

Kelly sighed and took a couple bites of beans.  “Maybe we figured she’d grow out of her wildness.  If only…”  He sipped his coffee and spilled some on his t-shirt.  “Shit,” he said, brushing himself.  He sat there in a straight-backed chair, mouth set in a tight line, and stared at the bare wall as if I wasn’t there.  Did he know or intuit something I didn’t?

He roused himself and told me that Virginia wanted to attend beauty school.  “She’s got the gumption to do it.  Fucking boys anyway. Sniffing around her like bird dogs.”

I asked him if he knew the names of anyone else she might have seen other than Joey McIntyre. He told me he wouldn’t be surprised if she had, but he didn’t know who, and he didn’t know where she might be.

He seemed pretty much talked out by then, so I asked him if he needed anything with the hay truck being broke and all, but he said “Nope.”  I left him sitting in his chair with a stained t-shirt and a plate of cold beans.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Michael.  We wish you much success!

A: Thanks. I really appreciate the opportunity. You have a great blog. If you have a chance, check out my blog at www.michaelbigham.com

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Meg the Egg Book Blast and Giveaway: Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card or Free EBooks

Meg the Egg banner

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Meg the Egg coverLittle Meg finds the outside world a bit too loud and far too scary! So, she’s going to stay inside her safe white shell, thank you very much. But then the Howl breaks into the barn and steals Mother Hen! What is she supposed to do, still holed up in that egg of hers? She can’t run and she certainly can’t fly. Well, never get between a chick and her momma, cause this little bird’s got a can-do spirit and a whole lot of courage that she didn’t know she had before!

A tale of self discovery that speaks to all children’s fears of the unknown, Ms. Borg delivers a great read-aloud resource for parents and teachers alike. With an onomatopoeic construction that gives life to the story and encourages children to participate through repetition of words, noises, and actions, MEG THE EGG is the perfect story for beginning readers.

AMAZONAMAZON KINDLEBARNES AND NOBLE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Rita Borg photo new

Rita Antoinette Borg was educated in New York and now resides on the Mediterranean island of Malta. She performs storytelling and creative writing workshops in schools across the country and works as a freelance writer for local magazines and newspapers. Ms. Borg has published four picture books aimed at early readers as well as an anthology of short stories for older children. Her books have been recognized by the Malta National Annual Literary Awards. Her book “Don’t Cross the Road, Holly!” was chosen as the year’s best Children’s Book in English. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Writers & Illustrators.

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Pump Up Your Book and Rita Antoinette Borg are teaming up to give you a chance to win fabulous prizes!

Here’s how it works:

Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour. This promotion will run from April 22 – May 17, 2013. The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on May 20, 2013. Each blogger who participates is eligible to enter and win. Visit each blog stop below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog for the duration of the tour. Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If the Rafflecopter form doesn’t load, you can visit the Meg the Egg tour page at http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2013/04/01/pump-up-your-book-presents-rita-antoinette-borgs%E2%80%99s-meg-the-egg-book-blast-%E2%80%93-win-25-amazon-gift-card-and-free-books/ for your chance to enter and win!

MEG THE EGG TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, April 22nd

Literarily Speaking

Tuesday, April 23

The Children’s and Teen’s Book Connection

Wednesday, April 24th

The Writer’s Life

Thursday, April 25th

As the Pages Turn

Friday, April 26th

The Busy Mom’s Daily

Monday, April 29th

LadyD Books

Tuesday, April 30th

Tribute Books Reviews and Giveaways

Wednesday, May 1st

Classic Children’s Books

Thursday, May 2nd

My Devotional Thoughts

Friday, May 3rd

Review from Here

Saturday, May 4th

Bea’s Book Nook

Monday, May 6th

Mayra’s Secret Bookcase

Tuesday, May 7th

Paperback Writer

Wednesday, May 8th

Read For Your Future

Thursday, May 9th

Freda’s Voice

Friday, May 10th

Lori’s Reading Corner

Monday, May 13th

Books for Kids

Tuesday, May 14th

Wednesday, May 15th

Literal Exposure

Thursday, May 16th

4 the Love of Books

Friday, May 17th

The Crypto-Capers Review

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Athol Dickson’s January Justice Book Blast and $25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Reeling from his wife’s unsolved murder, Malcolm Cutter is just going through the motions as a chauffeur and bodyguard for Hollywood’s rich and famous. Then a pair of Guatemalan tough guys offer him a job. It’s an open question whether they’re patriotic revolutionaries or vicious terrorists. Either way, Cutter doesn’t much care until he gets a bomb through his window, a gangland beating on the streets of L.A., and three bullets in the chest. Now there’s another murder on Cutter’s Mind. His own.

Link to purchase: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AGAW6EC

Athol Dickson’s mystery, suspense, and literary novels have won three Christy Awards and an Audie Award. Suspense fans who enjoyed Athol’s They Shall See God will love his latest novel, January Justice, the first installment in a new mystery series called The Malcolm Cutter Memoirs. The second and third novels in the series, Free Fall in February, and A March Murder, are coming in 2013.

Critics have favorably compared Athol’s work to such diverse authors as Octavia Butler (Publisher’s Weekly), Hermann Hesse (The New York Journal of Books) and Flannery O’Connor (The New York Times). Athol lives with his wife in southern California.

Website: http://www.malcolmcutter.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AtholDickson

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Athol-Dickson/416622918355206

Pump Up Your Book and Athol Dickson are teaming up to give you a chance to win a fabulous prize!

Here’s how it works:

Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour. This promotion will run from March 18 – Mar 22. The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email, and announced on March 25, 2013. Visit each blog stop below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog for the duration of the tour. Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If the Rafflecopter form doesn’t load, please visit the JANUARY JUSTICE TOUR PAGE to enter the giveaway: http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2013/02/27/pump-up-your-book-presents-athol-dicksons-january-justice-book-blast-%E2%80%93-win-25-amazon-gift-card/

JANUARY JUSTICE BOOK BLAST SCHEDULE
Monday, March 18th
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Interview with R. Gregory Lande, Author of The Abraham Man

 

abrahamR. Gregory Lande, DO is a physician and retired US Army Medical Corps Officer. Dr. Lande completed his medical education at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Lande was commissioned an officer in the US Army. During his career in the military, Dr. Lande was active in a wide variety of clinical, academic and administrative positions. Upon leaving the US Army as a full colonel, Dr. Lande was awarded the Legion of Merit recognizing his career contributions. The next phase of his career involved administrative positions in hospital management, research, and teaching at various civilian facilities. Dr. Lande is the author of numerous medical and historical works. He lectures widely on both subjects.

 

Visit Dr. Lande online at http://www.medicallegalhistory.com/

Q: Thank you for this interview, Greg. Can you tell us what your latest book, The Abraham Man, is all about?

 

A:  The title of this work, The Abraham Man, probably evokes several different ideas about the book. In this case, the title has a definite meaning which directly relates to the book’s theme that malingering – in all its various forms – has actually propelled the growth of modern day medicine. Malingering prodded physicians in the nineteenth century to sharpen their diagnostic skills and through the process laid the foundation for psychiatry and neurology. For many centuries the Abraham Man was actually a well-recognized pejorative label affixed to malingerers.

Q: How did you come up with the idea?

A: A clever criminal forces a detective to sharpen their investigative skills. In a similar manner, the malingerer is challenging the physician’s skills. In America’s nineteenth century the nascent field of medical legal practice was beginning. This opened up vast new opportunities for the Abraham Man to exploit. The growth and development of medical legal practice could never gain credible ground without confronting this diagnostic nemesis.

Q: What kind of research did you do before and during the writing of your book?

A: My historical research was broad and deep since the whole idea of malingering was rarely documented. In some respects it must be like panning for gold. A huge amount of water is explored until –hopefully – a few small nuggets are found. Extensive exploration in newspapers, legal records, courts-martial records, books, and historical archives served as my “water”.

Q: If a reader can come away from reading your book with one valuable message, what would that be?

A:  Malingering, pretty much universally, is scorned. In my opinion that overlooks another facet of the behavior which paradoxically has helped sharpen medical diagnostic skills.

Q: Can you give us a short excerpt?

A: “The explosive growth of civil and criminal litigation after the Civil War brought lawyers, doctors, and the Abraham Man together. In the beginning, most of the contests involved disputes over large estates. These early cases paved the way for more complex trials involving matters of insanity, mental competency, and an endless array of exculpatory mental maladies. The Abraham Man positively flourished.

Around this time, the practice of medical legal medicine began to take shape. Lawyers increasingly sought poised physicians able to contend with court room drama. Asylum doctors, given their daily contact with the mentally ill, seemed the natural choice. Another group not affiliated with the large institutions challenged the asylum doctors’ hegemony. In fairly short order these disparate camps coalesced around two dynamic doctors.”

Q: In your own experience, is it hard to get a nonfiction book published today?  How did you do it?

A: Yes. I have to give considerable credit to Algora Publishing. Although an author must write “a good story,” it also requires a publisher willing to take a calculated business risk.

Q: What’s a typical day like for you?

A:I am psychiatrist and spend my time involved in the clinical, administrative, academic, and research activities of my profession.

Q: What’s next for you?

A:I alternate my writing and speaking between strictly medical topics and historical interests.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Greg.  We wish you much success!

A:Thank you!

 

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Interview with Dr. Jackie C. Cogswell, Author of Super Luke Faces His Bully

Dr. Jackie Chirco Cogswell is a family physician, wife, mother, former school teacher, and now author of a series of Christian children’s novels, the GIGGLEHEART ADVENTURE SERIES. Writing Christian books and reading the Bible has become her passion.

In recent years, Dr. Jackie has been led to teach children of all ages how to prevent and stop bullying. As a Christian mother, the issue of bullying became very personal to her when her child was bullied in elementary school. Through the many struggles her son had with bullies, Dr. Jackie learned from firsthand experience how to tackle bullying from a Christian perspective. SUPER LUKE FACES HIS BULLY was inspired by her son’s personal struggle and the good Lord, “Who equips us for every battle and gives us strength.”

Visit Dr. Jackie only at www.giggleheart.com.

Q: Thank you for this interview, Dr. Jackie. Can you tell us what your latest book, Super Luke Faces His Bully, is all about?

Thank you for this interview opportunity!

Super Luke Faces His Bully  takes the reader on a journey through the eyes of a fun-loving boy, Luke Giggleheart.  Luke had always dreamed of becoming a big, brave super hero.  Even though he was equipped with a fun super hero cape and “innocent citizens” to protect, his dreams came crashing down when he found himself shoved into a locker by the notorious school bully, Bulldog Jones!

During this adventure, Luke discovers how to be brave enough to tell caring adults about his bully so that they could help stop the abuse.

One of the best parts of the story is when Luke discovers how to get his heart bully-proofed when he exchanged his fears for courage by trusting in Jesus Christ!  Bulldog Jones also experiences a change in attitude when his heart was touched by the love and kindness of a real Savior!

Q:  Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

Luke Giggleheart is an eight year old, tender hearted boy.  Luke was sweet, timid and shaky in his sneakers when it came to dealing with aggressive kids. This made Luke the perfect target for the school bully, Bulldog Jones!

Bulldog Jones was ten years old.  He was mean!  Bulldog would sniff out fearful kids and then would go after them as a means to take out his aggressions.  As the story unfolds, the reader discovers why Bulldog was so mean and nasty.

Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

 Most of my characters are inspired by my children and as they struggle with common issues like fear, anger, pride, lying, and bad attitudes. This often annoys my thirteen year old.  I can just hear her now, “Whatever, Mom!”

Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?

I know the story line before I sit down to write a book.  Usually the plot has been percolating in my heart for months before I actually start writing. However, many of the fun little details that knit the plot together usually just come to me as I write.

Q: Your book is set in a typical Midwestern suburban Christian school.  Can you tell us why you chose this city in particular?

The core setting for this book is in a Christian school and an average suburban neighborhood. No particular city was mentioned because it was not significant to the story line.

Q: Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

The only real significance of the setting is that schools, buses and neighborhoods are all fertile grounds for bullying.  For a young reader, these settings would seem relatable and help the kids connect with the characters in the story. 

Q: Open the book to page 69.  What is happening?

This is a really fun question J.

On page 69, Harry “Bulldog” Jones,the notorious school bully is being examined by a physician for injuries he received from a fist fight.  The physician, Dr. Giggleheart (Luke’s mom), tells Harry’s mother that his black eye and bloody nose would heal.  However, Dr. Giggleheart warns Mrs. Jones that Harry’s behavior problems could be fueled by the aggressive music he listens to.

Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts?

 (Excerpt from page 13)

That day, my bully left me with a humongous problem.  Ever since I was two years old I wanted to be a superhero.  In fact, I used to stand in front of the mirror in my diaper, squeezing my muscles hoping they would someday be strong enough to turn me into a real super dude.  Now that I have strong muscles and a cool cape, I love playing Super Luke and saving my friends and family from big bad bullies.  But after getting stuffed into my locker, I know that it takes a lot more than a good looking cape, a superhero name and big muscles to make me strong and brave!  Learning how to be a real superhero is a major growing pain.

 

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Dr. Jackie C. Cogswell. We wish you much success!

Thank you very much for taking the time and interest to learn more about Giggleheart Adventure #2, Super Luke Faces His Bully!

Dr. Jackie C. Cogswell

www.giggleheart.com

www.drjackiec.com

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Guest Blogger: What the World Needs Now – Authentic leadership by Andreas Dudas

Andreas Dudàs has more than 20 years leadership experience gained in top executive positions in over 25 countries. Visionary entrepreneur, mentor, motivational speaker & expert on authentic (life) leadership, he is the author of Do You Dare To Be Yourself? Learn more at www.andreasdudas.com.

What the World Needs Now – Authentic leadership by Andreas Dudas

On the one hand, never throughout the entire history were human beings offered such a bewildering array of opportunities to foster personal growth, accumulate wealth or build great nations. Each time I leave the new airport in New Delhi, for example, I am overwhelmed with the rapid change of the environment driven by a mind-boggling growth rate of the economy. On the other hand, never has humanity faced so much misery: A rising number of armed and violent conflicts, water and air pollution, congested highways, a rapid shift in weather conditions and the exploitation of natural resources without considering even the most basic environmental regulations.

Many scholars claim that the dramatic challenges we witness are mainly driven by two key factors: a sudden and startling surge in human population and a fast acceleration of the scientific and technological revolution, which has provided us with a sheer unimaginable power to affect the world around us. Some scholars tend to assert that new technologies, genetic engineering or other innovative products will be the keys for coping with our pressing problems. I completely disagree! Only a new leadership paradigm will remedy the current havoc.

For nearly 2000 years, the worldview has been driven by a leadership paradigm based on autonomy, separateness and control. These have also been the root metaphors influencing religion, business and science mainly in the Western world. This traditional archetype supports not only autonomy and freedom, but also control and manipulation. Nothing was wrong with such an approach, up to a point, for it was the basis for an enormous technical advancement on earth. But at the same time, this old paradigm has led us into a disaster and is now in big trouble not just that it relates to the environment, but across many fields such as politics, education and business. Already in the early 1990s, many renowned personalities emphasized that the shortcomings of command-and-control management were becoming apparent. The hierarchy of bosses organized in ranks with each superior exercising authority over subordinates who do exactly what their boss wants, has long been dominant. Many companies underwent a drastic paradigm shift in their leadership style over the last two decades. However, daily news on “poor management” suggests that not a lot of things have really changed.

What our planet needs now is a drastic shift towards a leadership paradigm embracing values such as interrelationship, cooperation, integration, balance, holism and especially love. These are exactly the values found in individuals living authentically. Such people have learned to act in accord with their core values, preferences, and needs as opposed to acting merely to please others or avoid punishments through playing a role. Such individuals have found the power of speaking up and lending a caring hand to our planet by reaching deep into their hearts. Only a huge investment of self-awareness and self-respect has nurtured their immense power to show respect for others and for the earth as a whole.

The sad news is that business, politics and education are not rewarding authenticity yet. We all are growing up in a command-and-control society, which nurtures our constant fear of not amounting to anything or loosing praise and recognition if we dare to live up to our innate principles and values. Furthermore, success in our society is still measured against the amount of money we accumulate or how fast we advance in our career, which spurs an ego-rooted rather than a heart-centered behavior. It often favors competition rather than cooperation. However, the greatest leaders of all times have set a stunning example of what one can achieve through leading from the heart. At the time of Mahatma Gandhi’s death, his personal possessions were valued at less than two dollars. His power and strength was derived from internal depths of his soul. Gandhi showed that the human heart is a source of tremendous power holding the capacity to change the course of history. We all have the birth right and even obligation to live up to our authentic self, which in turn feeds the power of living up to values so much in need, such as cooperation, appreciation and balance, and supporting a sustainable development of our planet. Since most of us stuck in the “comfort and fear zone” we need strong leaders empowering us to live authentically and promoting the strength to value respect for others. Reach deep in your heart, stand up for your true self and become one of the future leaders empowering others to reclaim their authentic presence!

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Interview with David S. Grant, Author of BLOOD: THE NEW RED

David S. Grant is the author of ten books including Corporate Porn, Bleach|Blackout, Hollywood Ending, and Rock Stars. His latest novel, Blood: The New Red, is now available. David lives and writes his weekly rock, travel, and NBA columns from New York City. For more information go to www.davidsgrant.com Twitter: @david_s_grant

Q: Thank you for this interview, David. Can you tell us what your latest book, BLOOD: The New Red, is all about?

Blood: The New Red begins at an after party where Mickey, an ex-adult movie star turned supermodel, is aligning himself with one of top Designers of Seventh Avenue.  While trying to land a job on the runway Mickey is thrown into the center of a scene where sex is often the motivation, the wine is served by year, and cocaine is back in full force.  Juanita, Mickey’s girlfriend is having difficulties staying sober, fully clothed, and off of her famous boyfriend.

Mickey goes to work for Fashion icon Paul Johnson, one of the two top Designers in NYC.  The other is Sandy Johnson, another Designer who will stop at nothing including murder to guarantee victory.  A runway exhibition has been scheduled for the two to compete in and find out who truly is the best Johnson.  Mickey will be Paul’s top model, and Sandy has found a homeless person nicknamed Kung Fu Master to show his line.

In addition to getting his new line in place, Paul Johnson is also buying chain saws, the louder the better, to put the special in this special event.

Did you know that you can’t be sentenced to prison if actively seeking help at a mental facility?  Paul Johnson knows this.

Somewhere between the girls, counting Vicodin pills, and show preparation Mickey has grown a conscience and no longer likes what he sees.  He believes (and his psychiatrist agrees) that he has the power to change what’s happening around him.

Days before the show Kung Fu Master turns up dead and there is an attempt on Mickey’s life.  After a brief period of unconsciousness Mickey is back, is told that Juanita and brother Cheeks are now also dead and that he must continue with the show.  After all, what would Steven Tyler do?

The night of the show is laced with celebrities and models on the runway as well as one particular popular day-time talk show host that may or may not be murdered on the runway.

In the end only one Johnson will walk away, although this is temporary as Mickey has the last word.

Right before he pops his last Vicodin.

Q:  Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

Mickey is an ex-porn star returning to model in New York City.  He initially has to decide between the top two current designers: Paul Johnson and Sandy Johnson, simply known as The Johnsons.

Paul and Sandy on the outside appear very different, but once you see their day-to-day you realize they are very similar.  Their drive and motivation rule over all other personal attributes.  They want to WIN!

This is not Mickey’s first time in the game.  Despite his too cool for the room aura it is evident that Mickey has matured from his “acting” days and now understands who really runs the business.  Despite being caught knee-deep between The Johnsons, Mickey and his manager have a knack for viewing situations from the outside looking in.

Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

I like to use real life situations as the motivation and then embellish as needed.  The actual characters are pure fiction; of course all characteristics are pulled from someone, right?  I’m definitely not saying there isn’t an ex-model-ex-porn star-model working the runways today, but I’m pretty sure there isn’t one named Mickey!

Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?

I usually have an idea, an “out” I guess, but I rarely end up using it.  My process is pretty basic, starting with an idea that develops into a high level outline by chapter.  The outline helps me move the story along, though not necessarily defining where the story will end up.  This makes the process more organic, allowing the writing to tell the tale as it unfolds versus full plotting.

Q: Your book is set in New York City.  Can you tell us why you chose this city in particular?

New York IS the fashion industry and also a wonderful playground for fictional characters.  The saying “I can get anything I want in the city” also applies to characters set in NYC: they have access to everything.  BLOOD: The New Red looks at the fashion industry, but also brings in other aspects of the city including the media, obsession with psychiatrists, and of course the unique neighborhoods throughout Manhattan. Without writing fantasy, how many cities allow a character to go from a margarita bar to a design studio to a high end TriBeCa brothel and still have time to meet their dealer?  Only one I know of.

Q: Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

It’s a major part.  New York City is the Mecca of fashion and Seventh Avenue breaks even the greatest designers and models at some point.   It’s a matter of timing and luck.  For my book, Fashion Week is the light at the end of the tunnel, each chapter escalating toward the moment (or moments) on the runway.  The city provides a backdrop for everything from diversity to the work environment to clubbing to murder. 

Q: Open the book to page 69.  What is happening?

A:  Sandy Johnson is eating oysters with Ralph, a known hit man.  They are discussing a quandary Ralph recently encountered when he was asked to “take out” one of two men standing next to each other.  He “took out” the man on his right, but was later informed that this was the wrong person; instead the target was the man standing to THEIR right (facing toward Ralph.)  Ralph shows little emotion telling the story.  Sandy agrees with Ralph as he shoves another oyster into his mouth.

Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts?

Here’s an excerpt from chapter 1 of BLOOD: The New Red.

Always look like a rock star. This is the number one secret on how to be famous. I’m wearing chains, lots of chains. Eye shadow, lots of eye shadow. I’m standing on the second level of the Grand Hotel, overlooking the bar area. My manager tells me this is where I need to be standing. In five minutes I will move across the room and stand next to a long mirror where one of the Hiltons will walk by and notice my reflection. A photographer will be close by and be sure to get the picture. This mirror has been placed here for this sole purpose. My manager tells me not to stare at the mirror. If you asked me to list my weaknesses, this may be my number one fault.

DJ Shingles, the newest (which means hottest) DJ, is playing on a middle level between the first and second floors. There is barely enough room for him let alone the overflowing ashtray and oversized stocking cap. Rumor has it this is his last show, despite this being his first. There is talk that he is moving into production and will be working with a major player in the hip hop industry, depending on who is hot at the time. DJ Shingles is wearing an Armani black button-down shirt with the sleeves ripped off. Very last year, but this is more a statement than a miscalculation on his part. Last season is the new season.

My manager signals for me to make my way across toward the mirror. A reporter from GQ is following me and asking me questions about who I’m going to sign with and whether or not my past will affect my future. I get her number, tell her I’ll call her later, and then blow her off as I approach the mirror. Always leak your press, never tell. This is secret number three on how to be famous.

Four widescreen televisions are fastened to the wall behind the bar. All are showing TMZ. An orange haired girl wearing a Betsey Johnson dress sees me staring at the television sets. She walks over and whispers in my ear, “It’s the new CNN.”

A waiter carrying a tray of wine from 1980 is walking by. Every 15 minutes another waiter, another tray, another year will walk by. Welcome to the world of fashion parties. Ten percent content, ninety percent presentation.

A man who goes by the name Dontay hands me a coffee cup that is full of scotch. My manager tells me to sip it and not cheers anyone. Any buzz that insinuates I’ve been in rehab and have put my porn career in the past is good press and can only help my modeling career. As scheduled, I’m approached by someone with the last name Hilton.

The Hilton is wearing a blouse that is considered the color Ocean, the new blue, but since Aquamarine blue was in fact the new blue for last season and last season is in this season, no one should be caught dead in Ocean. Unless of course she is being ironic. If so, she will have to mention this to at least three people during the course of the evening.

“Mickey, you’re back! I mean, uh…” Hilton looks at the coffee cup. “Welcome back!” She tips her coffee cup to me.

I glance around at the guest list, wondering who has the most juice at the party, but am distracted by the waiter walking through with wines from 1990.

“Good year for cabernets,” Hilton says, then grabs her blouse. “Last season is the new season, huh?” She laughs and looks fidgety as lights pop around us. At one point Hilton puts her arm around me and kisses me on the cheek. FLASH. Mission accomplished.

“I miss you, Mickey. We should get together sometime, you know, have a cup of coffee, or something.”

Sure, I tell her and then she leaves because she has a rule about spending over forty hours a week on the Lower East Side and this season many Fashion Week parties have been in LES, the new SoHo.

According to my manager, I need to make my way to a reserved table next to the bar where Paul Johnson is sitting. My manager also says to ignore the temptation of champagne. I have a job to do tonight.

Act like you’ve lived this moment a hundred times over. This is the forty-third secret on how to be famous.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, David.  We wish you much success!

Thank you for having me, for more information on my writing and BLOOD: The New Red please check out http://www.silverthought.com/blood/ and http://www.davidsgrant.com. Follow me on Twitter: @david_s_grant.

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