Shadow of the Vampire [NOOK Book]

Overview

Vampire princess Alexia Feodorovna has been undead for 125 years, so it's been a while since any man has made her pulse race. Until Declan Black. One look at his bronzed body and a fire like no other consumes her. Then she discovers that he's a dragon lord come to take revenge on the vamps who killed his parents. And claim a crystal said to imbue its owner with incredible powers.

Alexia is ordered to torture and kill the dragon lord. Yet with each reckless encounter, she finds ...

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Shadow of the Vampire

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Overview

Vampire princess Alexia Feodorovna has been undead for 125 years, so it's been a while since any man has made her pulse race. Until Declan Black. One look at his bronzed body and a fire like no other consumes her. Then she discovers that he's a dragon lord come to take revenge on the vamps who killed his parents. And claim a crystal said to imbue its owner with incredible powers.

Alexia is ordered to torture and kill the dragon lord. Yet with each reckless encounter, she finds herself consumed by his fiery passion. A passion Declan battles, as well. Will he be able to resist the fire of lust she kindles within him and keep revenge in his heart? Or will he risk everything to quench the burning desire and claim the vampire as his own?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hatfield's yarn is a confusing examination of what happens when Alexia Feordorovna, heiress to a matriarchal vampire clan, finds herself face to face with the power of love as personified by Declan Black, a shape-shifting dragon and her clan's archnemesis. Lust at first sight is enough to make Alexia reject every aspect of her life and culture as she helps her people's sworn enemy. She discovers along the way that Lotharus, her mother's lover, is just as evil as every word he has uttered and every action he has taken throughout this clunky, cliché-ridden tale. Subplots are explored and ultimately abandoned, leaving the reader with many questions. There's not enough story here to make enduring Hatfield's clumsy prose worthwhile.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781460307724
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 11/15/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 428,188
  • File size: 567 KB

Read an Excerpt

Declan ran up the narrow tunnel. Footfalls pounding the earth behind him told him they didn't have much time to escape. Straight ahead, the mouth of the cave yawned, the slight flicker of moonlight revealing their way out.

"Tallon!"

"I see it," she called over her shoulder, her legs kicking with each powerful stride.

"Fly," he shouted when they neared the ledge. Without slowing, Tallon leapt into the void. Her slight body fell for a split second before she shifted form and took to the sky. Declan made sure she was airborne before pushing off the cliff with a grunt. His long body soared through the cool air, transforming with seamless precision into a black dragon.

As he climbed upward, a glance back showed the vampire soldiers, armed and ready to kill for the treasure he'd carried out of their den.

Turning toward the heavens, Declan beat his wings to climb higher as a barrage of gunshots screamed from below.

"Faster," he shouted telepathically, seconds before bullets tattered the scales of his left wing. A hot spike of pain lanced between his shoulder blades. Slipping in his ascent, he paused to grab a breath.

"Declan. Come on!"

He ignored her. Instead, he stared at the vampire horde twenty feet below. Rage bubbled in his veins at the sight of them spilling out of their seaside catacomb like ants from a hill. A soldier lifted a bow gun to his shoulder and fired. Arrows cut through the sky. Declan swung into their path, taking in his arm the one meant for Tallon. The skewered flesh sizzled.

Silver-tipped arrows. He groaned.

Not good.

The fine metal acted like a poison on his kind, eating their flesh and siphoning their power from the inside out. Gritting his jaw against the pain, he slashed the knapsack from around his neck and tossed it at Tallon. She caught it in one clawed hand.

"Take it and go."

She looked up. The fear in her eyes eating at his soul. Tonight was not supposed to have gone down like this. They'd gotten what they came for. But he'd be damned if it ended with her getting hurt.

A second arrow ate through his thigh.

"Dammit, Tallon. You promised." He growled. "Get out of here. Now!"

A breath of relief sawed out of his lungs when she nodded. After she disappeared in the darkness, he turned his focus on the vamp with the bow gun. Snapping his wings wide, Declan arced into a kamikaze dive. Fire licked the back of his throat. Smoke curled out of his nostrils.

The vampire saw him coming and turned to run, but he was too late. Declan opened his jowls, raining a torrent of dragonfire on the soldier. Pale flesh melted off his face and hands, pooling on the stones below.

Before Declan could close his jaw, another blitz of gunshots saturated the sky. Blazing heat ripped through his veins with the same burning efficiency as the bullets had torn his flesh. His wings faltered and folded behind him. His elongated muzzle shrunk until cool night air whipped his human face, tossing strands of hair into his eyes.

"Shit," he muttered as he began plummeting toward the ground, human from the waist up. Unable to stop, he twisted in midair and tucked his chin, waiting for impact. His body smacked the dirt, bouncing and skidding, his flesh eating the small rocks and granules. He slid to a halt. A cloud of dust rose and then settled over him like a blanket, coating his lungs.

Coughing, he rolled to his stomach and opened his eyes to peek. Two soldiers were rushing him. Fast. Their black trench coats billowed behind them, showing off an assortment of weapons strapped to gun belts around their thick waists.

At least six more, all decked out like G.I. Joe on crack, were closing in not ten paces behind them.

Great.

The first two almost on him, Declan crouched and sideswiped his leg in an arc, knocking them down. Springing to his feet, he reared his tail. Blood splattered across his face and neck as he lodged the club-shaped ball at the end of it into the nearest vamp's chest. Spinning, he caught the second one by the throat. He snapped the soldier's thick neck around until a sickening crunch reverberated through his arms. Discarding the lifeless heap on the ground, Declan wrenched his tail out of what was left of the other vamp's torso, and turned to face the second wave of soldiers bearing down on him.

"Come on," he said, motioning to the approaching horde. His blood-soaked tail lashed and bit like a whip behind him.

The pack stepped closer. Their teeth were bared and their black claws extended. Not caring if he died tonight as long he took a few of these bastards with him, Declan stepped forward to meet them head-on. He stumbled over heavy feet. Frowning, he looked down. The remaining armor scales on his lower body receded. Then his tail, the only weapon left in his arsenal, shrank back into his body.

The silver, he realized. Its poison was draining his dragon power.

As soon as the thought came, his body screamed in pain, his side and back burning as if someone held a blowtorch to his skin. Cupping the wound, he pulled back a bloody hand.

Another shot fired. Instead of more silver bullets, a heavy net collapsed atop him, dragging him to the ground. The instant his cheek hit the dirt, feet and fists rained down on him. With the net tying him up, all he could do was shield his head with his forearms and wait.

"Enough!" At a female's order, the soldiers backed up a step.

The Queen.

It had to be her. At the thought, an icy shiver passed through him. A rational part of his brain had known she would come for him if he didn't kill her first. Knew she would take her vengeance against his kind out on his flesh—his soul.

Well, he thought, grabbing a fistful of net. He wasn't going without a fight.

With a roar, Declan looped the thick cord around his wrist and pulled, taking several of the horde to their knees. Jabbing a fist through the mesh, he seized the nearest soldier by the throat and squeezed.

"Dammit, Ivan. Hold him," a strong female voice ordered.

At her command, a boot rammed his jaw. Declan flew back, his chin kicking the ground in a teeth-shattering blow. Groaning, he spit out a mouthful of blood and pushed himself up, his head lolling in the direction he'd last heard the woman's voice.

The first thing he focused on were boots— spike-heeled, patent-leather, knee-high stripper boots, wrapped around a pair of slender legs that seemed to go for days. Declan lifted his chin and wrenched his swollen eye wider.

The female stood with one hand propped on black-leather-clad hips. The wind whipped thin blond hair around her—a delicately framed waist, bound in a leather corset that would have given any fetish kink an instant hard-on.

When his gaze finally reached her face, he noted she examined him with black eyes as cold and immortal as his soul. And that she was much too young to be the Queen.

"Where is the crystal?" Her smooth words held a faint trace of a Russian accent.

Not the Queen, but definitely of a noble caste. Declan grinned through bloodied lips.

At his smile, a dainty line furrowed her brow, and she cocked her head to the side. For a moment, she reminded Declan of a confused puppy. Until she raised a sawed-off 12 gauge and one black eye stared down the barrel at him.

"Tell me where it is and I might let you live, Derkein."

"It's gone," he said with a chuckle. "You have nothing to take back to her. You're as dead as I am."

The vixen's onyx eyes flashed silver before she drove the butt of the gun down to his face. He was still smiling when she pistol-whipped his nose and the world plunged into darkness.

Alexia Feodorovna stood in the catacombs, staring into the stone cell. Although the beast lay sound asleep on the floor and chained to the wall, his size and strength still managed to unsettle her.

Big. Dark. Dangerous.

She had never seen anything like him. The dragon lords never shifted into human form during battle, and were said to be all but extinct, or so she'd assumed until tonight. After seeing him fight, she wondered how she'd ever believed the lie.

He'd fought like a warrior of auld.

The way he'd protected that female of his kind, battled until he couldn't stand and yet met death with a smile on his face, affected her strangely. Not because she knew she would have met her own death like the coward her mother had called her. But because in the deepest part of her heart, she yearned to experience that kind of love, yet knew she would die without it.

The prisoner shifted. The metal cuffs around his wrists caught the moonlight filtering in through the rectangular window in his cell.

Alexia leaned her forehead on the cool iron bars and watched the play of light on the dark wall. Tipping her chin, she took in a breath of salty ocean air, wafting in the window, purifying the rancid odor of her horde's dungeon. Funny. She'd always thought that tiny window to be the cruelest torture in the cavern. The vibrant ocean, the alive taste of freedom danced on the tips of their prisoners' tongues, taunting their spirits from the other side of the dungeon wall. A small flavor of a salvation that for most never came.

At least they died having tasted hope.

Footsteps ascended the spiral staircase behind her. Sliding her eyes from the prisoner, she adjusted the tray in her arms and turned toward the guard.

"It's about time, soldier." She nodded into the cell. "Are you certain he sleeps?"

The guard stepped into the light from a wall sconce. Like every one of her mother's soldiers, he had crew-cut blond hair, a thick pit-bull-size head and dark sunglasses he wore even in the inky-black pits of their cavern dwelling.

"I drugged that Derkein myself," he said, unlocking the cell door and propping it open. "He'll be out for hours, if he wakes at all."

"Good. You may leave us."

A dark brow cocked over the rim of his shades. "But, Lotharus ordered—"

She hissed at the name, and stepped up to him. "Lotharus does not make the orders around here. I do. And I said, leave us."

Though disapproval radiated off the grunt, he clamped his lips together and bowed.

Alexia watched him leave under narrowed lids. She didn't trust those genetically enhanced soldiers. Sure, they were efficient, strong and practically unbeatable in combat. However, their increasing intolerance of showing her the respect befitting her station was troubling. Naturally, her mother blamed her for a lack of dominance over the horde.

Once the soldier disappeared around the corner, Alexia stepped through the iron threshold, slamming the door with more force than necessary.

Goddess! Just once she'd like to prove to her horde she was capable of leading them, capable of succeeding on the throne when her mother stepped down. Alexia knew if she retrieved the Crystal of the Draco, no one, not even Lotharus, would question her or the horde's centuries-old matriarchal way of life again.

She stopped beside the slumbering beast, realizing the only one who knew where the crystal might be lay bleeding to death on the floor by her feet.

With a sigh, Alexia settled on the ground, unwound a measure of coarse thread and nipped it with her fangs. Wetting the tip with her tongue, she threaded the needle and shifted onto her knees above the prisoner. Since he faced the outer wall, she decided to start by stitching the gash on his shoulder blade.

Alexia set her fingers to his flesh. At the contact, he moaned, rolled to his back and took a deep breath. Alexia held hers. Every dip, ridge and contour of his naked, bronzed body rose and flexed with the movement, beckoning her gaze.

What few noble men of her horde she'd seen unclothed had been tall and thin. Gaunt, when she compared them to this dragon lord. He was thick. Her gaze slid between his thighs. Everywhere. He had long muscled thighs and calves, solid arms and a broad, sculpted chest, not bones protruding beneath translucent skin like Lotharus.

Intrigued, she leaned closer.

Rich sable waves of shoulder-length hair curled around his neck. Her eyes fixed lower, on the pulse beating beneath his golden skin. A primal thrum tingled through her body. The air around her thickened, and her fangs burned.

Alexia sat back on her heels and gave herself a mental shake.

Just stitch him up and leave.

Bending, she set the needle to the torn flesh by his ribs. Before she could push it through his skin, long fingers dug into her wrists.

Her gasp stuck in her throat as the prisoner hauled her down. A pop, like sails unfurling, rent the air. One massive black wing tucked beneath her, cocooning her against his hard flesh and cushioning her fall to the floor. The cool scales glided against her shoulders, a contrast to the hot breath feathering against her face.

"Did you like what you saw, vixen?" he said in a smoky voice.

Embarrassment flooded her face. She wriggled beneath his hold on her and barely moved an inch. "Let me go."

The dragon propped himself up on an elbow. His electric-blue eyes slid from hers, to the flesh her leather bodice failed to conceal.

"No."

Her jaw slackened. "Release me or—"

"Or what?"

"Or—" She looked around, nodding to the needle and thread beside her. "I won't stitch up your wounds. Unless, of course, you'd rather bleed out in this dungeon."

A black brow arched. "If I'm in a dungeon, why bother healing me at all?"

"Would you rather die?"

His lips kicked up. "Do you always answer a question with a question, little vampire?"

Alexia shook her head, and tried to ignore that sinfully sexy curve of his mouth. "No."

"Then answer me."

She sighed. "We cannot torture you in the state you're in. You'd never last through questioning."

At her words, flames flickered behind his icy eyes. Soft tufts of smoke wafted out of his nostrils.

Dragonfire.

Her eyes widened, panic gripping her like a spiked glove to the throat.

"Don't tell me you're frightened of me now?" His thumb began to draw lazy circles over the pounding pulse in her wrist.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 45 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2014

    Short and questionable?

    I just dont get why this book only has 10 chapters. The other book i bought has like 30... plus its not a sample book either. I had to buy the book. did not read this book yet. Hope its good for as short as it is.

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  • Posted January 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    HOT HOT HOT

    An intense novel that grabbed me and pulled me in. This book had me gasping for air and flustered like a teenage girl. A definite must read for all who enjoy paranormal romance, love that really does conquer all, and action that keeps you on the edge of your chair. I will be buying this one to add to my library so I can read over and over again!

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  • Posted September 3, 2010

    Interesting Twist on a Classic

    originally posted at: www.longandshortreviews.blogspot.com ****** This was a paranormal twist on Romeo and Juliet, where a vampire and a dragon-shifter fall in love, even though their clans are in a war that has spanned centuries. Theirs is a destiny that neither could ever imagine. Can a vampire and dragon help their worlds merge together or will fate deal them a cruel hand?

    Alexia, the vampire princess - destined to become queen of the horde, is a hard as nails, leather clad vampire vixen, and torturer extraordinaire. She never even realized that true love could exist until she met bronze-skinned, blue-eyed, dragon lord - Declan. Declan is caught by the temptress Alexia, and cannot believe that such a tiny vamp could be the one to finally chain him down in more ways than one. The first time that Alexia and Declan truly meet - she cannot believe that she could react so strongly to his sculpted and muscular body, when all she is ever used to seeing is the pale, sickly thin vampires surrounding her. As the first few scenes between the two lovers are revealed, their longing for each other and their frustrations of being from opposite sides of the war are evident and make you want to cheer for them to make it through this challenge.

    The actual plot is quite intriguing as it reveals that there is a secret crystal that could change everything for good or bad. There are snippets of the history between the two clans throughout the novel, shown in memories and old writings that are discovered. It's just a matter of who will find and use the crystal first - for good or evil?

    Meagan Hatfield has created the perfect villain in Lotharus, such a sneaky, vile and creepy thing that makes you cringe in every scene he has. Ms. Hatfield has also created some interesting supporting characters, Tallon, Griffon, and others, that seem to blossom in the last 50 pages of the novel, thus opening the story up to a sequel.

    In the end, the sarcastic humour between characters, the super steamy scenes between our hero and heroine, and the perfection of the creepiest villain ever are the things that make up this tale of love, loss, and hope for the future.

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  • Posted August 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Shadow of the Vampire review

    This story had the WOW factor for me. I really loved that it was between Vampires and Dragons. I don't believe I have read anything like it before. While I was reading I felt like I was there in the story the whole time, I was either flying or suffering in the dungeon. I don't want to give to much away. You really need to pick this book up on July 1. The way Hatfield writes is truly great, you are transported like I said in to the story.

    review link: http://www.onceuponatwilight.com/2010/06/shadow-of-vampire-book-review.html

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  • Posted August 5, 2010

    Shadow of the Vampire

    4.5 Meagan Hatfield writes a steamy novel! By page 25 things were heating up in the steamy department. While I really enjoyed the spark between Alexia and Declan, I was a tiny bit confused about what was going on sometimes. However, by the time I finished the book a lot of the issues I was confused about were explained and the book ended with me feeling much more informed on the politics of the whole Vampire/Dragon shifter's past. I think I would have loved this book if there had been a little more about what had been going on with these two very different clans. I felt that we really got to know and care about the Dragon shifters and I was very much in love with them and rooting for everything to work out in their favor. The vampire's that we were introduced to were mostly soldiers or insane, power hungry, evil vampires. Maybe that is why I was rooting for the dragon shifters! I am keeping my fingers crossed for another novel, because there was definitely another story line brewing toward the end of Shadow of the Vampire. Whoa~ I just saw that a novella called Dragon Warrior was released that actually gave background information to Shadow of the Vampire. Oh! if only I had known about this novella. My advice is READ Shadow of the Vampire but I'm thinking maybe you should read Dragon Warrior first, I'll be reading it to see if I think that I would have been a little less confused which would have made my experience top notch.

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  • Posted August 2, 2010

    Promising premise, but with pacing issues

    In Meagan Hatfield's paranormal romance Shadow of the Vampire, Alexia is on the cusp of taking over the vampire horde from her mother. She's powerful, but her mother's adviser and fiance is far from excited about Alexia taking over. He leads the search for a crystal that will give the vampires total power.

    The vampire's enemies are the dragons who live high in the mountains. When dragon lord Declan is captured, Alexia is ordered to torture him for information on the crystal. Instead she falls in love. Something about him draws her to him over and over. He can't resist her either, even though he came to vampires to take revenge for his parents' deaths.

    Hatfield writes vivid love scenes that keep readers rapt. Her attention to detail for all senses is notable and helps immerse the reader in the world she's created.

    The strong cultures of both the vampires and dragons help paint an intriguing world for the characters of Shadow of the Vampire. One that, despite the book's flaws, I would be interested in seeing more of, with or without the same characters.

    There were two things that held me back from truly enjoying Shadow of the Vampire. The first relates to characterization. We're given good background on the characters in the novel. This, of course, is a big plus. The problem comes in when some of their reactions don't ring true given said background. My real problem is that Alexia has been a victim of rape, yet early on reacts positively to the idea of being helpless during sex. Declan is sensitive to the idea and he's mindful of not being overbearing in that way, which fits with his character (and what readers want from him), but Alexia's reactions just don't fit. Later, sure, but from the get-go? No, I felt like Hatfield was just placating readers' enjoyment, mine included, of that type of interaction. The scene I'm referring to would have been great if I didn't already have this knowledge about our heroine's past.

    Secondly, the book drags on a bit. Certain chapters, particularly toward the end of the novel, have prompt pacing but you had to work to get to them.

    Shadow of the Vampire shows promise, strong characterization and Hatfield has the command of prose that can really grab readers, if you can get past the pacing issues.

    This review was originally posted at Vampire Book Club (http://www.vampirebookclub.net)

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  • Posted June 26, 2010

    A Fantastic Dark Paranormal Romance

    An ancient prophecy spoke of a mysterious crystal with the power to rule all or destroy one. For hundreds of years, vampires and dragon-shifters have engaged in a bloody war, and they are both desperate to possess the Draco Crystal. The Dragon King and Queen have been murdered by the vampires, and their son Declan, the new king, finds the crystal in the vampires' catacombs, but before he can escape, he is taken prisoner by the Vampire Queen's daughter. Alexia is ordered to torture and kill Declan in an effort to find where he has hidden the crystal. But each encounter with him stirs a passion inside her that she thought was long dead. Though Declan should hate her for being the Vampire Queen's heir, he, too, feels the undeniable attraction between them. They soon discover a common foe has taken possession of the crystal to overthrow the Vampire Queen and destroy the dragons. Can Alexia and Declan put aside hundreds of years of hate and mistrust to defeat their enemy and find peace, or is their desire for power and revenge too strong?


    This was a fantastic book. Meagan Hatfield has created a dark and perilous world filled with non-stop action and intense emotion. From the first page I was drawn in and this fast paced story of vampires, dragons, and ancient prophecies would not let me go! The choice of dragon-shifters as the vampires' enemy was original. Declan is even able to half-shift, a human body with dragon wings and tail, which Alexia enjoys during their hot love scenes! This story is definitely a DARK paranormal romance. The descriptive scenes of torture and battles were intense. The characters were well written and I could feel their emotions - anguish, fear, love and joy. I enjoyed the secondary characters too. I can see the possibility of at least three future stories based on Declan's sister Tallon, Alexia's mysterious cousin, and others. I am looking forward to reading more from this talented author.

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  • Posted June 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This is a wonderful romantic fantasy

    The vampires butchered his parents leaving Declan as the new dragon lord of his shapeshifter clan. Like his late mom and dad, Declan makes a desperate attempt to obtain the Crystal of the Draco his brood needs to survive and avenge the death of his parents. The new king fails and is captured by his enemy.

    Locked away until the heir to the vampire throne can torture him like she did his parents, Declan fears the worst for his people. However instead of harming him, the century plus old vampiress Alexia offers to help him if he helps her. She fears her mother's lover Lotharus has somehow gained control of her mom the queen, who is slowly dying and to save her, Alexia turns to Declan. He feeds from her and finds he obsesses over having more from her. Both remain unaware that Lotharus has plans for the heir once he completes his destruction of the current queen.

    This is a wonderful romantic fantasy due to the relationship between the lead couple lovers. Declan is confused as he falls in love with the female he believes tortured and killed his parents. Alexia knows he is her fist chance to overcome the deadly control of Lotharus, but he distrusts her more then she does him. Dragons and vampires do not mate let alone sleep with the enemy. Although the fantasy elements at times are overwhelmed by the star-crossed "mile high" romance, sub-genre readers will believe we are soaring with dragonshifters.

    Harriet Klausner

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    Posted July 3, 2010

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    Posted July 20, 2010

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    Posted July 7, 2010

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    Posted September 5, 2010

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    Posted September 20, 2010

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    Posted August 17, 2010

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