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Reflections on the #AtoZChallenge

by Donna Huber For the A to Z Challenge, I discussed different book genres/categories. Each day, I gave a few details about the genre/catego...

February 9, 2013

Well Worth the Read: Fixer

I really like Gene Doucette's writing style and was excited to see a new book coming out from him. Fixer did not disappoint. The caliber of writing that fans of Immortal have come to expect of Gene will find it within the pages of Fixer.

Fixer reminded me of the late nineties television series Early Edition. I loved that show so I easily slipped into the story of a man who "sees" the future and tries to fix what is wrong. Corrigan is also haunted by his past "failures" - the times where he was unable to change the future. Again, in true Doucette fashion, the "fantasy" world he's created has a solid scientific basis. The science nerd in me loves it.

I recommend reading the book over a short period of time. January and February are extremely busy months for me and it took me most of January to read it. I think I lost the momentum of the story because it was definitely one who won't want to put down.

The book is filled with flashbacks to Corrigan's childhood. Most are short and interesting look into his life. However, the extended hospital flashback did not help me regain the momentum that I was losing due to spaced out reading. I felt is was overly descriptive. Really who but maybe middle grade boys want to read descriptive vomiting?

When I finished Fixer something felt off about the ending. Maybe too many details that weren't alluded to earlier were revealed making it feel rushed or maybe there wasn't enough of an explanation. Also there was a certain thing (I don't know how to describe it without giving away too much) that I'm not sure if it was because I was reading an ARC or if it really was meant to be like that. All of this left me very unsure how I felt about how the book ended.

That's the problem with reading ARCs - no one else has read the book so I don't have anyone to talk to about it. And I really think it would help if I could talk about it with someone (Fixer would make a great book club read). I would love to hear your thoughts. Fixer by Gene Doucette is available March 21 and I highly recommend reading it.

Book Info:
March 2013 by The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House
ISBN13: 9781612131474
Source: Netgalley
Read: January 2013

A free book was obtained from the source mentioned above in order to provide an honest and free review.

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February 8, 2013

Friday Fun with Schledia Benefield

I would like to thank Donna for welcoming me to her Friday Fun post. 
I thought that I would share a little about how Wildflowers came into existence and evolved into the novel that now stands. 
In doing this, I want to first share a little background: To begin, I will let you all in on a part of my personality. I’m an upfront person who doesn’t mind sharing with others my past experiences. I’ve been down many rough roads throughout my life, and I believe that by sharing the choices I’ve made and the consequences of them, I may be able to do one of three things: prevent someone else from going down that road, help someone already on that path to find an escape route, or pour a little healing oil on those who’ve already made it to the end of that highway.

Before I met my husband I entered a relationship that seemed to be wonderful in the beginning, but all of that began to slowly change. Abusive language was the beginning of the spiral down, which ended in physical abuse. I suppose it was during that time that a dormant seed was planted in my heart. Years later, when I began chasing my dream of writing novels, the seed was watered, causing it to germinate. It began to grow into a beautiful wildflower. During certain times of the year here in the South, our roads are lined with gorgeous black-eyed susans. Every time I drove to town, I would allow my mind to be whisked away by their beauty. I was always taken to a story where there was a young girl named Susan with blonde hair and chocolate-brown eyes, and she was trapped in an abusive marriage. So, one day, I sat down and wrote: 


As I stand here today, I look down upon the face of the most beautiful woman I’ve ever known—inside and out. My heart quietly breaks as the attendants close the creamy white casket I picked out only yesterday. 
What do you say when you are officiating the funeral of the only woman you’ve ever loved; the young, teenage girl who saved your life when you were just a wild and crazy boy heading down a path of destruction? The blossoming lady you never took the opportunity to tell just how much you loved; the beautiful bride you watched marry another, someone who could never deserve such an amazing human being. The one person you desperately desired to tell exactly how you felt. The beaten down woman trapped in oppression and obsession who you wanted with your whole heart to save, but you couldn’t find the courage to do it. 


I intended to write Wildflowers in first person, and the voice was meant to be a friend from high school Susan had helped, and he was secretly in love with her. That scene was going to be the preface of the book…BUT when I finally sat down to write Wildflowers three years later, it turned out to be a very different story. For two solid weeks before I started writing, I had dreams every night about Wildflowers and how to reconstruct the story with flashes from the present to the past. It was then that I decided that it was best to write this particular story in third person, omniscient rather than first person. Everything about my protagonist and antagonist in the story changed during those dreams. The only similarity to the original idea I had was the title, Susan’s name, and her plight of an abusive relationship. I wasn’t discouraged by the whole idea being shifted; I was exultant! I knew in my heart of hearts that all the changes I saw in my dreams would make Wildflowers a better story.  

About the Author

Schledia Benefield is the author of Plain Jane, Pretty Boy, and her soon to be released novel, Wildflowers. She attended Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College but chose to be a stay-at-home mom for many years. She devoted eight years of her life to working with youth as a youth minister and has been invited to speak in a rehab to hurting and wounded women, giving them hope for a better future. She was the Keynote Speaker for Division 14 of the Key Club International’s divisional rally.

Born and raised on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Schledia holds a sense of pride in her southern heritage. She presently lives in Big Point, Mississippi with her husband and four of her five children. On top of writing novels, she writes youth and children’s church curriculum, and she works as a substitute teacher at East Central Middle School. In her spare time, she reads, sews, and spends time with her family.
 Blog  *  Twitter

Buy Wildflowers at Amazon! 

Check out today's Pub Day Book Blast to enter for a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card.
Girl Who Reads is an advertising affiliate with Amazon and IndieBound; a small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above links. The views, beliefs, and opinions expressed by guest post authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views, beliefs, or opinions of Girl Who Reads.

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Pub Day Book Blast & Giveaway: Wildflowers

From the author of Plain Jane comes a new young adult novel by Schledia Benefield

Have you ever feared what may be hiding deep within you?

Darkness often skulks in the blood of unsuspecting victims, but Aster McGrath is acutely aware of the violence coursing through his veins. After all, he is the son of a murderer, and everyone in the town of Bayville, Mississippi says he will end up just like his father.

When Susan Blackman moves into town, Aster has already embraced his brutal nature, but her gentle spirit draws him in and slowly melts the icy exterior of his heart. Taming his savagery, she professes her love, but will the good within him be able to overcome the evil lurking deep inside? Or will the fiend break free of its fetters and seek blood?

Fans of Nicholas Sparks' A Walk to Remember will fall in love with the young love, tough choices, sacrifice and redemption found within the pages of WILDFLOWERS.

Buy it TODAY in ebook & paperback at Amazon

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February 7, 2013

Blogger Op: $1,000 Giveaway

Raining Money

It's Raining Money Event

Hosted by: Mom Powered Media
Prize: $1,000 Cash {paypal or visa}
Event dates: 4/1 - 5/1

Free Blogger Event: Sign Up HERE

These kind of events are a great way to get a little more exposure to your blog.

Tips on Thursday: eBook Conversion

This post may be more for authors, but with the number of bloggers who are offering services to author this video may be useful to them. Also if you have ever been sent the wrong format of an ebook and want a quick way to fix it without have to contact the author again, then Calibre would be helpful to you.

Converting ebooks doesn't have to be difficult and Coral Russell of Alchemy of Scrawl put together a short step-by-step video based on the eBook Formatting Guide by James Wallace Birch. 

The tutorial is for basic formatting. If you want a more in depth look at coding, then you will need to click on the link above for more advice. I found this quick and easy method great for creating digital Advance Reader Copy in epub and mobi.

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February 6, 2013

Writer Wednesday: Traci L. Slatton

Hi Donna, Thank you for having me on your blog. I love that overflows with ideas, tips, reviews, and interviews. It's a rich and lively site!

I thought today I'd talk about how I came to write THE LOVE OF MY (OTHER) LIFE. This story originated as a screenplay. A Hollywood actor was interested in producing it, but it kind of sat around on his bookshelf. Finally I decided to novelize it.

The Love of My (Other) Life takes place in New York city, where I live, and, in the other universe, at Yale, my alma mater. I have an irreverent affection for Yale, where I started as a physics major. But I didn't want to do physics, I just wanted to think about physics, which is way cool. So my first semester, I was taking physics, astrophysics, calculus, English 129, and Ancient Near Eastern Literature from the Earliest Times to the Time of the Akkadian Conquest--in which we read the Epic of Gilgamesh, among other things. But I  wasn't taking any labs. So, midway into the semester, the head of the undergraduate physics department tracked me down.

"You're a physics major, but you aren't taking any labs? Why not?" he asked.

"I don't want to do labs. I just want to think about physics," I said.

He shook his head. "That's not the way we do things at Yale." So I became an English major, as I was always meant to be. But I retained a respect for, and interest in, the sciences. Hence my character Brian. I always found science people intriguing.

Many of my novels come out of random daydreams. This is one of the great job benefits of being a novelist: I get to daydream and that's part of my work! How cool is that?

So one day I had the amusing notion, what if a man showed up claiming to be my soulmate--but from another universe? And I thought he was crazy? And then what if he turned out to be my soulmate, and I couldn't be with him? What if the one person who completed me was the one person I could never be with because he was from a parallel reality? That's when I started writing the screenplay.

One more thing about this novel. My friend composer David Sklar loved the original screenplay and he wrote a song for it called UNIVERSAL LOVE. You can hear it at

Thanks again, and joy of reading!

About the Author

Traci L. Slatton is a graduate of Yale and Columbia, where she taught freshman composition. She lives in Manhattan, though her love for Renaissance Italy inspired her historical novel Immortal [Bantam Dell], which is currently in film pre-production and reached bestseller status in Italy, Russia and Brazil. Also the author of The Botticelli Affair and the After trilogy (Fallen, Cold Light and Far Shore [forthcoming late spring 2013]), Slatton has published The Art of Life, a photo essay about figurative sculpture; a book of poetry; as well as a non-fiction title on science and spirituality, Piercing Time & Space. Her forthcoming novel, The Mission, is a meaty historical saga set during World War II.
website  *  publisher  *  twitter  *  facebook

Buy the Book at Amazon!

February 5, 2013

Featured Book: With My Body

A modern take on the classic Pride & Prejudice premise.

Model, Elle Benedict is young, beautiful and headstrong. When she overhears billionaire, William Dexter insulting her integrity, it leaves her deep attraction to him in tatters.

As William stumbles over himself to repair the damage, he pursues her intensely, and begins to draw her into his private world. They embark on a relationship, consumed by love and desire, awakening feelings neither had experienced before.

But not everything is perfect. Jealousy and misunderstandings allow a so-called friend to seek out the cracks in their relationship and use them to manipulate and interfere, intent on ruining a little boy's life before he has even drawn a breath.

Seven years of euphoria to the depths of a dark abyss of pain awaits them.

Their journey is a carefully woven story thread of murder, paternity, jealous lovers and family members, and misunderstandings.

Can their love be rekindled?
 Praise for With My Body

"the story flowed and the characters were well-developed. Jo's writing style is smooth and consistent throughout the novel." ~ Ravina Andrea Kurian

"For all romance lovers out there, this is a must read." ~ Jennifer Jennings

"It had the feel of classic literature to me, reminding me a bit of a modern day Jane Austen." ~ Anthea Carson

About the Author:

Jo has always lived in the southern part of England.

Her interest in writing has been there in the background for as long as she can remember; it was something that she always wanted to do since she attended school - Jo did well in her English Literature classes. Jo used to carry a notebook around with her and write ideas down, but she was not one to share my writing with anyone until she became an adult.

As well as writing, Jo also enjoys reading, her favourite classics include Pride & Prejudice, Persuasion and Jane Eyre. Jo does like modern books as well, interested in most genres, but usually preferring an angsty romance or a thriller.
 website  *  Facebook  *  Twitter  *  Goodreads

Buy the Book!

Amazon US
Amazon UK

Girl Who Reads is an advertising affiliate with Amazon and IndieBound; a small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above links.

February 4, 2013

Meet the Author: Liss Thomas

Big thanks to Donna for having me on her blog.

I am originally from Atlanta, Georgia but my hubby and I have been traveling for his job and have lived in sunny Santa Barbara, California, cold and allergy ridden, South Carolina and now are in sunny Clearwater, Florida.

Last year was a milestone for me as I published my first novel! I use exclamation marks because I'm excited about that feat! The novel started as a series of short stories that my sister initially refused to read because the first one had a sad ending. So, I changed the ending and continued to write until I realized it would not be contained in short stories alone.

I've only done a few author interviews but several interview with my characters! It's amazing what you can learn from them when you sit them down for a chat.

As for me, I am (insert age over 30 here). I love living by the water, hence, California and Florida. I started writing seriously only a few years ago and have enjoyed the rush of creativity. My one story has led to many ideas for more.

After a short six month adventure from the world of having a day job, I am now going back to work full time for a few months. My writing life will have to exist in the evenings and weekends. Boo! But I must say, working again will probably give me more ideas for characters and scenes.


I am currently working on several works at the same time. My brain hops from one story to the next
and I write whatever the brain is in tuned to at the time. It works most of the time.

  • The sequel to my debut novel is my top priority since I want it out in June. I'm still working out the kinks! My nemesis is Facebook. If you see me on it, tell me to get back to work!
  • I'm also writing a serial online novel called ‘Hidden Monsters’ on my blog using writer's prompts from my favorite prompt site Creative Copy Challenge. New challenges appear on Mondays and Thursdays, which is when I write the next chapters to my serial.

About the Author:

Liss Thomas is a YA Fantasy Author who likes to dabble in other genres as well. She currently resides in Florida and is patiently waiting for her first glimpse of a wild alligator (from a distance is fine). She is a loving of animals and will pet anything, hence the picture. When she's not writing, she's playing iPad games and dreaming of fishing.
Twitter  *  Facebook  *  Blog  *  Pinterest

Buy the Book at Amazon!

Girl Who Reads is an advertising affiliate with Amazon and IndieBound; a small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above links. The views, beliefs, and opinions expressed by guest post authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views, beliefs, or opinions of Girl Who Reads.

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Meet the Author: R. E. Hargrave

Hi and thank you so much for having me today! It’s a pleasure to be here.

So, y’all want to know who R.E. Hargrave is? If anyone figures it out, can you let me know? Trust me – I had no idea when I was a little girl thinking about what I wanted to be when I grew up that at almost forty years old I would be publishing erotic literature!

Not even close.

I can remember my dad telling me I could be anything I wanted to be – up to and including a starship captain. He was kind of a dork, but I loved him dearly. The product of divorced parents who chose to live on opposite sides of the country, I was and still am very shy and introverted (again, how in the world am I publishing erotica?!)

It seemed I always got moved in the middle of the school year so I’d come in as the new kid after all the cliques were established, and pretty much be left to my own defenses. This resulted in me reading – a lot. Austen, Tolkien, Beverly Cleary, and Judy Blume were my go to authors. Anyone remember Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret? Yeah, good times. My older years had me delving into darker and more risqué authors: King, Barker, Ward, and Hamilton just to name a few.

I also took up cross-stitching which eventually led to dabbling with the sewing machine thanks to my very skilled aunt. While the ol’ carpal tunnel doesn’t allow for cross-stitch projects any longer, I still enjoy sewing: simple summer dresses for my daughter, formal gowns back in high school, and quilts. Here are some pictures of a couple of my favorites:

Are you getting the idea yet that I like to be creative? I guess given my love of literature paired with my need to be creating something with my hands, I shouldn’t be shocked that I decided to try my hand at writing. The first writing that I shared in a public forum came in October of 2010 when I posted the first chapter of my kinky Twilight fan fiction, To Serve is Divine. Since then I have penned over thirty drabbles, one-shots, and multi-chapter stories for “the fandom” (as we call ourselves). It’s been an amazing couple of years as I learned what I was comfortable writing and challenged myself to try out genres I never would have dreamed of doing beforehand. Graphic gore, anyone?

I’ll back up just a bit as I’m sure some of you are going, “Wait, did she say she posted To Serve is Divine as a fan fiction? Isn’t that the name of her new book?” Yes, dear readers, I did. But what came out in the form of the fan fiction story is nothing like what is being published. For one, I will toot my own horn and say that my writing capabilities have grown tenfold since I first began. And two, when I go on about the effort I’ve put into overhauling and expanding the idea of the storyline that I’d just started to shape, I’m not kidding. Hours, days, weeks, and months have gone into removing all traces of the aforementioned story that begat To Serve is Divine.

Catherine, my female lead, is Irish and quite feisty; she’s fragile, but tough and independent. In fact, she reminds me of someone I know. *coughs* And where do we begin with Jayden, my “tall, dark and handsome” gentleman Dom? All I can say is, “Edward who?” One of the biggest tips a writer gets is to write what you know. I’ve been a resident of the Dallas Fort-Worth metroplex since 1998 so it was easy to bring my story and my characters to me; play with them on “my turf” so to speak. I am still in the process of reworking and writing the second and third books in the trilogy (A Divine Life and Surreal), but I am very proud of the time, sweat, and tears I’ve put in so far.

I can only ask that y’all give it – and me – a chance. After all, us shy girls need love to. 

About the Author

R.E. Hargrave is a fledgling author who has always been a lover of books and now looks forward to the chance to give something back to the literary community. She lives on the outskirts of Dallas, TX with her husband and three children.
Facebook  *  Author Website  *  Twitter  *  Goodreads

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Amazon  *  B&N  

The views, beliefs, and opinions expressed by guest post authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views, beliefs, or opinions of Girl Who Reads. Girl Who Reads is an advertising affiliate with Amazon and IndieBound; a small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above links.
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Another Monday...


In case you missed Saturday's post, I reviewed a book that anyone who blogs should take a look at - My Blog Traffic Sucks! by Steve Scott

The Guardians, Inc Tour kicks off today. You can see the full schedule, pick up a free ebook of The Cypher by Julian Rosado-Machain, and enter to win a $75 Amazon Gift Card.

Today, I have a Meet the Author double feature. Come back to the blog at noon EST to meet R. E. Hargrave, author of To Serve is Divine, and again at 3 pm EST to learn more about Liss Thomas, author of Finding Monsters.


Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles by Ron Currie, Jr. (hardcover) - LAST DAY
Bird jewelry for The Forever Girl tour
$50 Amazon Gift Card from Terri Morgan - FINAL DAYS
$75 Amazon Gift Card from Julian Rosado-Machain

Bloggers Wanted: Book Blasts & Tour

Pub Day Blast - Wildflowers by Schledia Benefield (Feb. 8). Join the celebration and offer your readers a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card

Sign up for the Nate Rocks Tour Kick-off Book Blast (March 4 - unlimited space) *Prize for bloggers and readers!

Let your readers get a peek of Playing the Genetic Lottery by Terri Morgan during the Excerpt Tour (Feb. 18 - 22).  Sign up here. 

I had a head cold all week and was wrapping up the Guardians, Inc Tour prep, so there wasn't much time for reading. I did make progress on both books this week.


Gen Y has been picked apart by analysts, statistics, and trend reports, which often portray 20-somethings in negative, one-dimensional terms like "entitled" and "whiners". In this thought-provoking new book that aims to dispel these stereotypes, journalist Hannah Seligson chronicles the lives of seven individuals who embody this generation, exploring their challenges and ambitions in vivid detail and sketching a picture, through their eyes, of what life is actually like for young adults. Through these first-hand stories, readers will discover the transformational effect this enterprising, open-minded, innovative, and diverse generation is having on society. From
Find Mission: Adulthood at Goodreads, Amazon, and IndieBound.

Seattle, 2010. When her entrepreneur husband dies in an accident, Michelle Preston Richardson, 48, finds herself childless and directionless. She yearns for the simpler days of her youth, before she followed her high school sweetheart down a road that led to limitless riches but little fulfillment, and jumps at a chance to reconnect with her past at a class reunion. But when Michelle returns to Unionville, Oregon, and joins three classmates on a spur-of-the-moment tour of an abandoned mansion, she gets more than she asked for. She enters a mysterious room and is thrown back to 1979.

Distraught and destitute, Michelle finds a job as a secretary at Unionville High, where she guides her spirited younger self, Shelly Preston, and childhood friends through their tumultuous senior year. Along the way, she meets widowed teacher Robert Land and finds the love and happiness she had always sought. But that happiness is threatened when history intervenes and Michelle must act quickly to save those she loves from deadly fates. Filled with humor and heartbreak, THE JOURNEY gives new meaning to friendship, courage, and commitment as it follows an unfulfilled soul through her second shot at life.
Find The Journey at Goodreads and Amazon

Girl Who Reads is an advertising affiliate with Amazon and IndieBound; a small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above links.

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February 3, 2013

Blog Tour: Guardians Inc.

Guardians, Inc.: The Cypher by Julian Rosado-Machain

A chance reading of a newspaper ad will send 16 year old Thomas Byrne into the world within our world.

Following the ad he will find Guardians Incorporated. A seven thousand year old organization charged with protecting the balance between Magic and technology.

Through their guidance technology has kept Magic at bay since the Renaissance, but the balance is shifting and soon all those creatures we've driven into myth and legend will come back with a vengeance.

To protect the present, Guardians Incorporated needs to know the future and to unlock the future they need a cypher.

Book 1
paperback (228 pages) & ebook
Published February 2011
ISBN13: 9781450748582
Amazon, B&N, Goodreads

Follow the tour for interviews & guest post from the author and characters, excerpts, reviews, and a chance to win a $75 Amazon Gift Card. Want to chat with the author? Join Julian Rosado-Machain on Tumblr, February 13.

About the Author:

Julian Rosado-Machain has enjoyed pizza in three continents, BA in Graphic Design, worked building armored vehicles, handcrafted alebrijes, owned a restaurant and swears that he has seen at least one ghost.

A Mexico City native he now lives in San Diego, California and enjoys the sun with his wife, three children and cat.

Guardians Inc. The Cypher is the first book in a series that describes the creatures and powers that live in the world within our world.
Website  *  Facebook Tumblr

Tour Schedule:

Feb. 4 Alli's World - 10 Things You Didn't Know (about the book & author)

Feb. 5 Living, Learning, and Loving Life How to Avoid the Rejection Blues

Feb. 6 Library Girl Reads & Reviews M interviews Thomas

Feb. 7 Bookshelf Review & Tips for Being a Better Writer

Feb. 8 Trendy Mom Reviews Find out what Julian's office is like

Feb. 9 Mrs Mommy Booknerd's Book Reviews Excerpt

Feb. 10 Java John Z's Giveaways and Reviews Review & character guest post

Feb. 11 Girl Who Reads Meet the Author Monday

Feb. 12 It's About Time Mamaw Character Guest Post

Feb. 13 Ask the Author at

Feb. 14 Lindsay and Jane's Views and Reviews Review & Author Interview

Feb. 15 Pulling Down Books Review

Feb. 16 KY Bunnies Author Interview  

Feb. 17 Cabin Goddess Review & Excerpt

Feb. 18 The Oaken Bookcase Review & Excerpt

Feb. 19 Classic Children's Books Review

Feb. 20 Keeping Up With The Rheinlander's Character Guest Post

Feb. 21 Larkin's Book Bloggers Review & character interview

Feb. 22 Recent Reads Review & Excerpt

Feb. 23 Logan's Loco Reads Review & character guest post

Feb. 24 Tamara's One Stop Indie Shop Excerpt


Get The Cypher ebook for FREE at Amazon or B&N. Plus, Julian Rosado-Machain will give one lucky reader a $75 Amazon Gift Card. Enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Buy Book 2 at Amazon

Girl Who Reads is an advertising affiliate with Amazon and IndieBound; a small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above links. The above post is part of a paid promotional package from GWR Publicity.

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