Posts Tagged ‘guest post’


Have you ever been set up on a blind date? If you were and enjoyed yourself, chances are the matchmaker knew you and your date really well. Finding a new author to your liking is a bit like a blind date. You pick up their book and hold high hopes for an evening spent in a delightful company. Sometimes the hopes come true. Sometimes they don’t.

To avoid the latter in our case, let’s see without more ado, if I can entertain you with stories to your taste. If we find out that we’re a good match, I have two gifts for you, but all in the right time. Let’s do the reader-writer matchmaking part first.

I’m your kind of a writer:
• if you love gay historical fantasy and/ or gay romantic suspense
• if you know that in the name of love, a man can build or destroy, nurture or hurt, live or die, and sometimes all of that in the course of one story.
• if you know that one man can be both cruel and gentle, brutal and kind, fierce and fearful, open and restrained, good and evil, strong and vulnerable, as what face of his he lets you experience depends on his feelings for you and on his circumstances.
• if you love reading about immortals who have passions and fears just like mortal men.
• if you don’t avoid violent scenes in your reading.
• if you love stories full of intense sensual charge and vividly portrayed sizzling passion that goes beyond the boundaries of vanilla lovemaking.
• if you like reading about dominance and submission, and understand that in a historical fantasy setting modern BDSM as we know it today doesn’t exist.
• if you believe that love is stronger than death but rarely walks straight paths. In my stories, the men who are together in the beginning of the tale, may not be together at its end. They may find their true love much later in the course of a story than in a classical romance.
• if you believe in the power of forgiveness in true love, and don’t condemn a man for flaws he has or mistakes he has made.

Sounds good to you? If it does, I’m glad you’ve read your way through to this point. Let’s spend some delightful evenings together. We can start right away with Throne for the Idol, the Compulsion Reads-endorsed prequel to my gay historical fantasy series Guardian Demon. You’ll get it from me as a welcome gift if you sign up for my Circle of VIP Readers at: http://www.ciarandwynvil.com

Here’s the book blurb:

Let the tale carry you to the Lindisfarena Monastery to witness a dark romance between Brother Rikard and High Demon Semiazas, the First of the Fallen.
A chaste virgin and a devoted servant to Maker, Rikard leads a quiet life in the monastery until the days of his sexual awakening. Haunted by desires he can’t name yet, he finds a release for his suppressed longing in music.
The low, dark, tortured tones coaxed forth by his fingers fill Semiazas’ ears with an urgent, irresistible, red call. In different red than blood this call pulses, and Semiazas can’t resist the strange allure of a misalliance with a mortal man.
A single kiss, so unlike anything either of them has expected, sets events in turbulent motion. Rikard’s ultimate surrender to his dark idol is just a question of time. But there is only one punishment his order has for those who leave Maker’s path. Death.
Will Semiazas save Rikard? Find out in this story that interweaves dark fantasy and romance that will make your heart beat faster.

But wait, I’ve promised you two gifts. So, here’s the second one: everyone in my Circle of VIP Readers is going to get a free copy of Unalloyed Love, Part 1. This book is going to be released just a couple of days from now: on the 1st of May. That’s the date when I’ll e-mail my VIP Readers a free download code. If you have an itch for reading a nearly 110-thousand-word-long, super-sexy gay romantic suspense about love, death, and redemption for free, make sure you sign up for my Circle of VIP Readers here: http://www.ciarandwynvil.com/

The book blurb:

In a world where Light and Darkness gave birth to the Skies and the Void, to the Earth and the Waters; in a world where the first betrayal tore them apart and robbed them of their home, Darkness has been waging war on their blood children for four thousand years. When High Demon Belial embarks on the quest to understand an unalloyed power that may give his liege lord Darkness the final victory, Archangel Endingale will do anything to destroy the unknowing mortals who hold the first key to Belial’s enlightenment and true understanding of the powers of Love.
Master Viktor, a tortured murderer who has escaped justice, has built a new, respectable life for himself as the Reformer in a Reformatory for Young Gentlemen.
Wild and stubborn Amedee, Baron Drakeson’s grandson, acquiesces to a stay in Master Viktor’s institution only with reluctance, but his latest betrothal gone awry in a most unfortunate manner doesn’t give him any other option.
Haunted by concealed guilt, Master Viktor recognizes signs of torments that Amedee holds locked deep inside, and sets out to cleanse his new ward’s invisible festered wound.
As he takes control over his ward’s body and carnal urges, Amedee’s heart is touched too. When shy affection is born, Master Viktor at last cuts open the source of Amedee’s pain and guilt.
But can their feelings blossom into true love? Will they and their bond survive the destruction unleashed by Archangel Endingale?

And an excerpt:

Like strangers who have naught in common, they waited in silence, avoiding even each other’s eyes, until the door soundlessly opened again.
A white-gold-haired boy made a skittish step inside. “Madam?”
She advanced against him, and, from Viktor’s vantage point by the window, it looked as if a vampire was stalking to her victim. “Come in here, Lucien, darling,” she invited the boy.
Lucien took another hesitant step. With his shoulder-long hair still askew from sleep, clad just in a thin, creamy silk robe, the belt of which allowed for a very easy disrobing, and a topaz-crusted choker around his neck, he looked lonely and misplaced in Franziska’s bedchamber. Like a gaunt, stray pup. Silk and precious stones had no power to change the impression, although Viktor had no doubt that they had been forced on the lad for exactly this purpose. To suppress the impression of starving innocence.
“This is Master Viktor,” Franziska told Lucien, her finger pointing at Viktor underlining her words. Quite unnecessarily.
Is he a simpleton? Viktor felt his hands balling in fists. If the lad lacked wits and she had put him in bed with Lord Madoc–
Franziska reached for Lucien’s arm, and the sight broke Viktor’s thoughts. She was half-dragging the boy toward him, with no more than a blunt explanation: “You’ll work as a whipping boy for him.”
“I’ll work in your kitchens?” An incredulous smile lit up Lucien’s face. “I can whip egg whites. Real good.”
“It doesn’t mean what you think it means.” Franziska pulled him closer to Viktor still.
He doesn’t speak like a simpleton. He forms full ideas, and fast. There’s nothing wrong with his wits. He’s just arrived to an unexpected conclusion, is all, Viktor thought, beckoning Lucien to approach him. “A whipping boy is paired with a lordling,” he said. “If the lordling does any wrong, his whipping boy bears the punishment, in full or in part.”
Lucien’s eyes grew large. “Why does he do that if the lordling did the wrong?”
“That’s how the world works, darling.” Franziska shoved Lucien to stand mere two steps from Viktor.
The boy staggered, but caught his balance fast. Not a touch of anger or even hurt ran across his face. Just astonishment. “The world should change,” he said, to nobody in particular.
“Just get him out of my place,” Franziska groaned.
“Fore he says something else that you’ll want to forget,” Viktor muttered. What should he do with Lucien? With a boy mere nineteen winters old, no more. Just the right age for a good whipping boy for a young lordling, but the innocence in Lucien’s honey-colored eyes sent sharp twinges into Viktor’s lungs. Like woodland honey those eyes were, so dark and so sweet.
“Why would she want to forget?” Lucien asked. “I always speak the truth.”
“That’s the problem.” Franziska raised her hand to add a prod to her words.
Viktor caught her by the wrist. Faster than he should have.
She stared at him, taken unawares, but the wheels in her head were already turning. Fast too.
“Now, now,” he mumbled, and out of necessity he brushed his thumb across her palm. “It won’t be such a grave problem, I’m sure.” Only then he let go of her, hoping that his touch had made the fast wheels slow down. It wouldn’t serve him well if she ever learned too much about him. If he ever disrobed before her.


I think I’ve usurped Elin’s blog for long enough at this point. I’ll be delighted if you take me up on my offer, but now it’s time for me to handover this place back to her. After all, a guest is only welcome if he doesn’t stay too long.
Thank you, Elin, for having me and my books over today. It’s been a pleasure for me to come for a visit.

You’re welcome, Ciaran. Please feel free to drop by at any time.

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First of all I would like to thank Elin very much for allowing me to do my first guest post as Izzy van Swelm. The imminent release of my first book is much in my mind, so I want to talk a little about my experiences with the process thus far.

This post also comes at a time when in the LGBTQ romance community, we have witnessed what is generally called ‘author’s behaving badly.’ If I had been as new to social platforms, as I am to publishing, I may well have thrown my hands up and said ‘I don’t want to be a part of this’. It has been very saddening and disheartening.

My experience of authors while working towards being published couldn’t have been more different. I have always wanted to write, but I wanted my first novel to be the one that changed the world…the one that made people love each other…ended famine…helped world peace and was a literary masterpiece. A pretty tall order and it kept me from seriously writing for a very long time.

I have been blogging and reviewing with Prism Book Alliance under my own name for some time and I attended UKMeet in 2014 as a reviewer and blogger. I offered my services to one of the organisers Charlie Cochrane, as a volunteer on the registration desk to combat any initial shyness. I let slip that I had an outline and first chapter for a novel… if I found the courage could I approach the publishers attending the Meet? Charlie became my fairy godmother from then on and arranged meetings with three publishers who would be attending. She also stopped my doubts and firmed my purpose. I couldn’t have wished for a better motivator…

While I was at UKMeet and preparing to see publishers, in between enjoying a lot of alcohol, dancing and meeting fascinating people…I was in email contact with another author, whose work I greatly admire, Alexis Hall. Every evening we would email each other, and he kept me grounded while I floated around on overenthusiasm, but shared my squealing over my small successes. I had so many people wish me luck and share in my happiness. That weekend will always stay with me as a total joyous memory.

Once I received my contract another author, Clare London, read over it for me and advised me on things to look out for and clauses to check before I signed it. In fact back at the Meet, over breakfast, my pen name was discussed between myself, Clare, Jordan Castillo Price and JL Merrow…I nearly became Snowy Durham!

Once I had the contract the real hard work began…actually delivering the written words you have promised. It can be hard work on days when words won’t come or you are tired maybe hungover, but on the days when everything is easy, writing is a joy. Then there is a lot of waiting…content edits…waiting…line edits…waiting…galley proofs sometimes unavoidable delays affecting release dates very frustrating. Then of course once it is released promoting your newborn!

I am on the promotion part whilst writing the sequel it can be confusing and I seem to spend all my day thinking of answers to strange questions….but it is all part of the process. If anyone asked me when I got really excited…I would say I had three real ‘delicate scream’ moments. First when I was offered a contract…second when I was emailed the first mock-up of the cover and the third at this time I am still waiting for…release day!

I wanted to write this post to give an example showing that for every argument on Facebook there are many comments…messages and emails of support and motivation. For every ‘Catfish’ there are many true souls who will donate money, and offer real help to friends in need who they may never meet in ‘real life’. For every example of hatred or insult there are written words of love, romance and hope from the many authors who truly wish to make a difference to your day, in some small way.


Soul Mate for SIN

by Izzy Van Swelm

Release Date 28th January 2015


The effects of an attack on SIN, a twenty-nine year old University lecturer, reach out further into his future than SIN could ever imagine. In a story, which seems doomed to start with an end, SIN learns about the forever kind of love, and how family is not just biological. ‘Soul-Mate for SIN’ shows how twists of fate can take a loving, but ordinary family, from a small market town in England and turn them into something extraordinary.

Buy Links

Social Media Links
https://www.facebook.com/IzzyvanSwelm – Author Page
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007247866404 – FB Account

Izzy van Swelm (aka Beverley Jansen)

Izzy van Swelm is English, but took her Mother in Law’s maiden name as a pen name. Izzy dreams of a world where all sentient species have rights and respect. A world where LGBTQAI lovers and friends, old and young, can walk holding hands meeting nothing more than the occasional affectionate eye roll. A world where intelligence, gentleness and compassion are the overwhelming attributes of politicians, and religion is practiced by those who believe, but never forced on those who do not.
Izzy is a romantic, a dreamer, a vegetarian and just a little eccentric. Izzy writes because she loves to tell stories, and she hopes that her stories will bring happiness, enjoyment and maybe to some…a little hope.

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Readers, help me out. A reviewer for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table of the American Library Association concluded that my Joe Harding series is “A welcome addition to romance and military fiction collections, Captain Harding belongs in any adult fiction collection.” “Captain Harding’s Six-Day War,” the first book in what turned out to be a trilogy, was voted Best Romance by readers in the TLA Gaybies poll and named best book of 2011 by the historical romance blog, Speak Its Name. “Only Make Believe,” the second in my Florida-veterans series, was named Best Gay Mystery / Thriller of 2012 in the international Rainbow Awards competition, with an honorable mention ranking of number eight among almost 500 entries. I could go on.

“Welcome Home, Captain Harding,” the final novel in the trilogy, seems to have failed to find an audience or to have drawn much notice. To date, there are only three reviews (two five-star, the third very critical) on Amazon.com. Reviews on other platforms were similarly sparse. I don’t know why this is, and I’m hoping readers will give me some feedback. If the truth hurts, so be it. In my former life, I was the restaurant critic on a big-city daily. I can take it. I’m tough.

To kick off the discussion, let me list several possibilities that come to mind.

First, my novels are novels, not strictly one genre or another. “Only Make Believe,” my first, was a finalist for the Lambda Foundation Mystery Award. Katharine V. Forrest, the eminent editor and author of the Kate Delafield lesbian mystery series, told me later that it did not win because it is “not really a mystery.” That’s right, it’s as much romance and why-dunnit as it is who-dunnit. There’s more sex than sleuthing. It’s been in print, off and on for more than a decade. More than one reader has told me it’s on their desert-island list or that he or she has read it multiple times. What’s not to like?

“Welcome Home, Captain Harding” is similarly composed of elements of romance, adventure, well-behaved erotica and mystery. That’s how I write. I’ve seen a lot of the world and have stories to tell. Most of them don’t fit the tropes and conventions of typical romances, mysteries or thrillers. To paraphrase my publisher, Steve Berman, “If Elliott was writing heterosexual fiction, no one would try to shoehorn his books into one genre or another. They’re novels.”

Second, unlike my other five novels published by Lethe, there are no human beings on the cover of “Welcome Home, Captain Harding.” This was, in part, the result of my mistaken impression that I’m better at thinking up cover images than some of the very talented and skilled people I’m lucky enough to work with. I certainly won’t say that every character-driven novel needs sexy models on the cover. Quite often, however, it doesn’t hurt.

Third, I’m a trained historian. Probably ninety percent of the military and government action in the Harding novels is based on verifiable, well-documented incidents. Each of the three novels contains at least one spectacular plane crash, criminal interference by the CIA and high-level misbehavior by senior officers who should know better. The fatal incident in “Welcome Home” was captured on video and resulted in a major investigation by the Department of the Air Force. A commanding officer pleaded guilty to charges of dereliction of duty. Before, and while writing the novel, I watched the footage and read the damning reports numerous times. B-52 bombers (which I worked around in a minor way when I was in uniform) are highly complex machines, their maintenance and operation equally multifaceted. It may be that I ended up giving the reader too much technical information.

Fourth, maybe we shouldn’t have noted that “Welcome Home” is the final novel in the series. Several readers who contacted me or posted on line were unhappy about it. More than one suggested a later-in-Joe’s-life continuation. That could happen but it’s not on my mind right now.

Finally, and avoiding spoilers as much as possible, Joe’s emotional and romantic arrangements at the end of the book are unconventional, even by the standards of popular fiction. I didn’t plan it that way, honest. When I’m writing, to some extent I’m taking dictation. The characters are there–talking, joking or making love, and I’m typing as fast as I can. This time, the characters took over the narrative toward the end of the story and I had to let them have their way. Rewrites to make it fit with earlier incidents in the book? Sure, required. That’s why a book is also called a “work.” It’s what I do, and what I’ve just finished doing in polishing a third novel in the Florida-veterans series, tentatively titled “Sunset Island,” to be published by Lethe later this year.

OK, readers, I’m ready. Hit me up.


Elin: Welcome Home Captain Harding is a terrific book, and rounds off the series in a very satisfying way. Can’t WAIT for the new Florida-veterans offering! Roll on September.

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I’m really pleased to be hosting S. A. Garcia today, in honour of her latest release, Canes and Scales, an exciting steampunk fantasy from Dreamspinner Press.


Fantastical Nightmares

Nightmares are terrible things. I know many people claim they don’t remember their dreams, but I bet everyone remembers their nightmares, especially the dangerous ones.

Nightmares render us helpless. How many times have you tried to break free from a horrible dream but the damned thing just keeps grinding along? Nightmares are the sub consciousness’s toxic waste. No one enjoys them, unless you’re into abuse and torment. Then hey, hope you enjoy those nightmares. For me, waking up sweaty and gasping in fear is not fun. Let’s face it, there are no safe words in nightmares. They don’t stop because you want them to stop!

But imagine if someone deliberately sent you a terrible nightmare, one so soul shattering that you know, unless you wake up, you will die? I know it’s been done before, but I attempted such a scenario in Canes and Scales: The Novel for the first time in my writing career— wait, I can’t say career, because you usually make money at a career— let’s just say writing adventure. I regard writing as a splendid adventure, and on days when I don’t have the time or energy to write, the lack of adventure impacts my mind. That is a true nightmare.

There I go, turning this around to be about me. But wait, I wrote the book— part of this needs to be about me.

Although nightmares play a large role in Canes and Scales: The Novel, the entire book is a dream come true— I always dreamed about expanding my first published novella into a novel. I never expected the story to transform into an epic fantasy! In this sweeping novel, Linden and Alasdaire suffer plenty of trauma, drama, evil elven deathspells, and danger.

They also experience an epic romance, supported by elven dream magic yet challenged dark Elven magic.

Here’s an example of when dark Elves send nightmares into their life. An Elven banespell sends Alasdaire into a deadly nightmare by casting his beloved Mother and his beloved Linden as enemies.




Serpent Prince Linden of Ardaul is determined to drag his barbaric, power-hungry country into the modern age by encouraging learning, advances in the sciences, and tolerance. His insane brother Edward, the King, delights in making him pay for his efforts.

Long years of watching his back, fighting wars, and solving conflicts started by his cruel brother have taken a toll on Linden’s body and mind, and he needs a respite. When Linden meets an alluring young bed slave named Alasdaire, his weary heart responds. Alasdaire is an exotic mix of southern royal Totandian elf and human, and, although he’s also suffered hardship most of his life, his loving personality captivates the Prince.

Despite their differences, Alasdaire, canes—and Linden, scales—unite in body and soul, but their romance is nearly shattered by betrayal. When Linden becomes King, magical assassins, treachery, and threats plague them. They narrowly escape death more than once. The lovers must discover who wants them dead and more importantly, where they can turn for aid. Neither enemies nor allies are what they seem. Only time will tell who means to harm Linden and Alasdaire—the elves, the imprisoned Edward, or something even deadlier—and time is one thing they don’t have.






What a miserable place. Nothing but strange gray shapes surrounded me, gray accompanied by deeper, sinister grays. My body retained color; in fact, too much color met my startled stare. Bright blood seeped from the jagged fang marks rending my chest. My hands had turned black. Flexing my knuckles stabbed pain through my stressed skin. My aching legs barely moved me along a narrow path.

I did not belong in this horrible gray land. I belonged with my Linden.

Wait, Linden’s ugly serpent attack had thrust me into this lifeless domain. His love had faltered in its devotion, the emotion as false as my welcome at the palace of death. Why would a mighty king care about a bastard half-breed whore?

My breathing tightened, straining to push air from my lungs. I needed to focus. How could I think such a terrible thing about my lover? Magic had thrown me into this decayed realm—dangerous magic that tried to make me believe Linden wanted to harm me.

I refuted the lies. My voice cut through the cold mist swirling around me. “Linden loves me. Linden would never do anything to harm me. I need to find him again.”

I blinked in awe. My words forced my hands to assume their normal hue. The deep wounds in my chest had vanished. As I suspected, my negative emotions harmed me. Whoever attacked me sought to drive me to despair.

I refused to succumb. I needed to keep moving, keep seeking Linden. I crept forward. Suddenly a dismal swamp blocked my way on three sides. Noxious gas bubbled up from the dank water. I had no choice but to walk along a narrow path.

A small whitewashed cottage appeared through the tainted mist. The tidy red-tiled roof looked bright in the grayness. I moved closer, wondering what fresh anguish awaited me. Warm light spilled out from the diamond-paned windows. The door stood open, creating a golden rectangle against the grayness. The comforting sight reassured me.

Steps brought me to the open doorway. I gasped with delight. “Mother!”

Mother stood from tending the cheerful fire burning in the brick fireplace. As she smiled with equal delight, she held out her slim hands to me. Her smile looked comforting, soothing, and sweet—all the positive things I remembered about her from when she was alive.

“My precious son. Come, dear Alasdaire, be with me. Only I care about you. Only I love you. You do not belong with the treacherous Serpents. Come to me, Son. I have missed you. Come warm yourself and talk to me. I wish to hold you close.”

My mother spoke the truth to me. I walked forward three steps. I paused before I placed my foot onto the low stone step. Mother’s smile overwhelmed me. She held out her arms to welcome me into the warmth. She looked as beautiful and magical as I remembered her. Her precious smile made me tremble.

Mother stood in the doorway. “Come to me, Alasdaire. Come rest by the fire. My dear son, you look ready to collapse. Come in from the cold.”

Weariness plagued my body. I lifted my right arm up to her. “Mother.”

“Come to me, Son.”

I lifted my right knee up. My right foot hovered, close to stepping up into the cozy cottage.

Wait. Why didn’t her hands reach out to me past the doorframe? A sudden memory of an ancient shrine standing in the moonlight seared through my consciousness. A cool trickle snaked through my confusion. The tempting scene before me shimmered.

Reality roared free. This placed offered me no refuge.

I dropped my foot back to the ground. “Mother, please, come to me.”

Brief annoyance flickered over her lovely face. She beckoned to me. “Son, no, you need to enter to be with me. Come inside. Do you deny love for your mother?”

What painful words. “Never, Mother. I love you well, but I know when evil uses you against me.” I turned my back to her. My heart broke even more.

As I staggered away from the cottage, my mother’s lyrical voice begged me to come to her. “Alasdaire! The Serpent does not love you! Come back to me. Only I love you.”

I shook my head and kept moving away from her.

“No one loves you in your new world. The vile Serpent uses you as his whore.” Mother’s voice hoarsened. “I cannot believe my son would act so weak. You are weak! Only I can make you strong. Come back here! You know the Serpent only uses you. Your love for him betrays the elves!”

Echoes of the city elf’s rant teased me.

I started singing.


The birds sleep in their nests,

Mother knows what is best,

Hush, my little bird, rest,

Keep safe in our fine nest.


I used the simple lullaby to drown out Mother’s angry voice, a lullaby she had used to soothe me to sleep. As I sang, her threats snapped away from my hearing.

Rage filled my mind. How dare this foul magic use my mother against me? Who was doing this to me?

I stumbled forward, trying to avoid the sticky gray foliage twisting across the ground. The strange thick fog tried to halt my progress. The swirls and veils formed an oppressive web. I pushed forward, fearful of what would appear next.


Thanks for reading!

Canes and Scales: The Novel is avaliable at Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Are and other outlets. Canes and Scales: The Novel

Who Is S.A. Garcia?

Forty years ago, I started writing gay male romance. Writing about men inserting tab A into slot B didn’t seem the norm for a suburban female teenager. Reading Gordon Merrick, John Rechy, and Larry Kramer helped me fill in the serious informational gaps. Yes, I read those informative books in my bedroom. No wonder.

As the years progressed, I continued writing gay male romance, although the stories progressed from scribbles in notebooks to hiding on the computer. I wrote fantasies, contemporaries, bodice rippers—my muse Diva Faboo refused to let this old lesbian write a F/F romance. Go figure. Someday!

I’m glad I kept the writing faith. I never thought anyone would published my novels. Imagine, my comedy An Elf for All Centuries (formerly from Silver Publishing; now in talks for a new home) was in the running for a few awards. What a thrill!

My life has turned into a fun quandary of too many stories hindered by my slow, two-fingered typing skills. I blunder onward into more trauma, drama, and humor. I just hope I can keep up with sexy men who insist on running off with the plots!

Along with Canes and Scales: the Novel, Dreamspinner is also home to my novellas, assorted short stories, short stand-alones and the M/M romdramedys (romance/ drama comedy) Cupid Knows Best and The Gospel According to Cher.

Love in the Shadows, my first attempt at mixing an M/M historical and contemporary with a touch of the supernatural, is at MLR Press.

You can find out more about me at my blog and website.

Facebook: S.A. Garcia

Twitter: SAGarcia_Writer

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