The Summer of Cotton Candy (Sweet Seasons Series #1)

( 22 )

Overview

Most people think The Zone is an amusement park, but Candy Thompson knows it’s really a slave labor camp. What else would you call a summer job that requires a sixteen-year-old girl to set aside her whole social life for the privilege of standing out in the hot sun selling cotton candy? Still, there are perks—particularly the mysterious hunk in the Lone Ranger costume. Behind that mask are the most amazing eyes Candy has ever seen. Who is that masked man? But someone else is just as interested. And romantic ...

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Overview

Most people think The Zone is an amusement park, but Candy Thompson knows it’s really a slave labor camp. What else would you call a summer job that requires a sixteen-year-old girl to set aside her whole social life for the privilege of standing out in the hot sun selling cotton candy? Still, there are perks—particularly the mysterious hunk in the Lone Ranger costume. Behind that mask are the most amazing eyes Candy has ever seen. Who is that masked man? But someone else is just as interested. And romantic competition isn’t the only problem. Besides being hard work, The Zone is eating up major time. How is Candy supposed to stay involved in church? Worse yet, will she lose her best friend, Tamara, who resents how Candy’s job limits their time together? This is NOT the summer Candy hoped for! But as she is about to discover, the summer of cotton candy will be the greatest summer of her life.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310715580
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 5/1/2008
  • Series: Sweet Seasons Series , #1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 696,541
  • Age range: 13 - 16 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.44 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Debbie Viguié has been writing for most of her life and holds a degree in creative writing from U.C. Davis. Debbie loves theme parks and has worked at both Knott’s Berry Farm and Disneyland in California. When Debbie is not busy writing she enjoys traveling with her husband Scott. Debbie grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and now lives in Hawaii.
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Read an Excerpt

The Summer of Cotton Candy

A Sweet Seasons Novel
By Debbie Viguié

Zondervan

Copyright © 2008 Debbie Viguié
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-310-71558-0


Chapter One

Candace Thompson wondered where her life had gone wrong. Maybe when she was fourteen, she should have babysat her bratty cousin when her parents asked. Maybe when she was seven, if she hadn't locked the teacher out of the classroom, this wouldn't be happening to her. No, maybe her life went all wrong when she was three and she knocked down the girl with the pigtails who had stolen Mr. Huggles, her stuffed bear. Yes, the more she thought about it, that must have been the moment that started her on the path that led to the special punishment she was now suffering.

It was the first day of summer vacation, but for Candace, it might as well have been the last. She sat in a dark dreary office, signing away her freedom. The decree had come down from her father: she had to get a job. No job, no cash. No cash, no movies or hanging with her friends. It didn't matter to him that if she had a job she wouldn't have time to do the things she would need the money for.

She took a deep breath as she finished filling out the last form and handed it across the desk to the recruiter, Lloyd Peterson, a strange-looking man in a frumpy brown suit whom she was convinced had to be a perv. Hadn't she seen him on America's Most Wanted? She slid down into her seat, willing herself to be invisible, or at least small enough to slip away unnoticed.

"Candace," he mused, "can I call you Candy?"

"Well ..." She was about to say no. She hated that name.

"Great. So, Candy, what makes you want to work for The Zone?"

She didn't want to work for The Zone, she just wanted to enjoy her summer like everybody else. Her father had put his foot down, though. According to him it was time she learned the value of work and earning her own way. She had chosen to work for The Zone because she had absolutely no skills, and working for a theme park seemed more interesting than flipping burgers.

She sighed and squirmed, refusing to meet the recruiter's eyes. "I've always dreamed of working for The Zone. I want to be part of the excitement and help people enjoy themselves more." It was her rehearsed answer, and she held her breath, hoping he would buy it.

He stared at her for a long minute before nodding. Picking up a bright blue folder on his desk, he flipped it open and cleared his throat. "You realize, of course, that if you wanted a summer job, you should have started applying months ago, right?" he asked, staring at her over the tops of his glasses.

She slunk farther down into her chair. She licked her lips when she realized he expected an answer. "No," she said.

"No? No? Well, you are wrong. In order to get a good summer job, you should start applying at least in March."

March! All I could think of in March was holding out until spring break without going postal. Her eyes were now nearly level with the edge of his desk. "I just thought, you know, The Zone needs a lot of employees."

"You are correct, but most of our summer positions have already been filled."

He stopped and stared at her. She wasn't sure what he expected her to say, but she was beginning to have the sinking feeling that her summer would consist of asking people if they wanted fries with their meal.

Just as she was about to get up to leave, sure that the interview had come to an end, he spoke. "We do, however, have two openings."

She sat up. "What are they?"

"The first is janitorial."

"You mean those people who go around sweeping up after everyone?" That might not be so bad. At least I could keep moving, and nobody ever pays attention to them.

He raised an eyebrow. "Some of our janitorial employees do that, but not this position. This one is cleaning up the women's restrooms."

Candace's stomach turned. In her mind she pictured the high-school bathroom by fourth period, and that was only with a few hundred users, not thousands. There was no way she was going there.

"Um, and the other one is ...?" she managed to ask as diplomatically as she could.

"Cotton candy operator."

"I'll take it!" she exclaimed, more loudly than she had meant to.

"Good!" Lloyd stood up and opened a drawer in one of his many filing cabinets. He pulled out a stack of papers two inches thick and slammed them down on his desk right in front of her. The desk continued to shake for a moment as though there had just been an earthquake. "Fill those out."

"Now?" she asked, her mind boggling over the enormity of the task. She moved slightly so that she was eye level with the stack, and she could feel her hand begin to cramp up in premature protest.

"Yes, now. You can, however, use the table in the courtyard if you'd be more comfortable."

The word duh came to mind, but she bit her tongue and kept it to herself.

"Yes, sir, thank you. I'll do that," she said instead, scrambling to her feet and grabbing the stack of papers. She made her way out of the room as fast as she could, taking a deep breath once in the hallway.

The hallways around this place are roomier than the offices, she thought to herself as she immediately began to feel less claustrophobic. She turned around, not sure which way the courtyard would be. She hadn't seen one on her way in, so it must be in the other direction.

She came to a T in the hall and craned her neck to the right. All she could see that way were more offices, so she turned to the left ...

... and ran straight into a six-foot wall.

"Umph," the wall gasped as Candace's papers went flying in all directions.

"I am so sorry," Candace said, realizing that the wall she had run into was actually a guy, a big guy, a guy with muscles she could see through his shirt. She looked up and forgot what she was going to say next. She was staring at the Lone Ranger. He stood there, larger than life in pale blue, complete with boots and gun belt. Black wavy hair shone from underneath a white hat pushed far back on his head. A black mask covered part of his face.

All this was not what stopped her in her tracks, though. What took her breath away and caused her to stare like an idiot were his eyes. He had amazing eyes that were bright blue and crackled like lightning. He stared right through her, and her heart began to hammer.

"I—I—"

He smiled at her, and she felt dizzy. "Are you lost, my lady?" She nodded, still unable to look away from those piercing eyes.

"Here, let me help you," he said, bending down.

For one dizzying moment his face came close to hers, and she thought he was going to kiss her just like in some movie. Instead of kissing her, though, he knelt down and began picking up her papers.

Idiot, she said to herself, feeling her cheeks burning. Her knees began to buckle, and she covered it by quickly dropping down to her knees and scooping up some of the papers that had managed to spread themselves across the width of the hall.

"I'm such a klutz," she said.

"Not at all. How could you expect to run into something when you're not looking where you're going?"

She glanced up quickly, stunned at the rebuke. Then she noticed that he was grinning from ear to ear. They both burst out laughing.

"That should do it," he said finally, handing her the last sheet of paper. His fingers brushed hers, and she felt her stomach do a flip-flop.

"Thanks."

"So, where are you headed?"

"Um, um," she stammered for a moment, her mind going completely blank.

"I take it you're filling these out?" he said, tapping the stack of papers.

She nodded, relieved as she remembered, "Something was said about a courtyard that had a table."

"I'll show you where it is."

She fell into step with him, and he led her down the corridor. They made three quick turns in a row and arrived at a door leading out to what truly was a small courtyard.

"There you go," he said, holding the door open for her. She walked outside into the sun and plunked her papers down onto a table.

"Thanks."

"I live to serve."

She couldn't think of something witty to say, so she just stared at him.

He winked at her. "I'll see you around." Then he turned and left. She sank down into the chair, her knees feeling weak. "Who was that masked man?"

* * *

Four hours and three phone calls to her father later, Candace finished filling out the application. She stacked up the tax forms, identity forms, nondisclosure forms, noncompetition agreements, and receipt-of-employee-handbook forms. And with a snort, she put the background check and financial disclosure form on top of the whole stack. She was seventeen, and she had no finances to disclose. She'd had a momentary panic about the background check until she realized they were looking for things like a criminal background or drug use and wouldn't be interested in the fact that she'd had detention twice in seventh grade.

She flipped back through the employee handbook. It was over a hundred pages long. After reading through it, she realized that The Zone had a policy and procedure for absolutely everything. They even had three different emergency-evacuation plans, depending on whether it was fire, weapons problems, or natural disasters. Clearly the people who worked on the handbook were paranoid, and now, after reading it, so was she.

She dragged herself to her feet, her stomach angrily reminding her that lunch had been hours before and she had missed it. She miraculously made her way back through the maze of corridors to Mr. Peterson's office. He was speaking on the phone, so she stood in the doorway until he looked up and saw her.

He hung up the phone. "Come in, Candy. I take it you're done?"

She nodded, handing him the stack.

"Excellent. Well, I'll take a look at all these. I'm sure they're in order. Let me just get copies of your driver's license and social security card."

She fished them out of her purse and handed them to him. He left the office for a minute and then returned with photocopies. He handed her cards back to her.

"Okay, you'll start orientation tomorrow."

"Tomorrow?" she asked.

"Yes, is there a problem with that?" he asked sharply.

"I just thought I'd have a couple of days before—"

"Tomorrow's our last orientation class for the summer. It's either tomorrow or never."

Never wasn't an option, no matter how much she wanted it to be. A vision of a certain masked man flitted briefly through her mind. Then again, maybe this wasn't going to be so bad after all.

"Tomorrow. Tomorrow is fine for me," she said.

"Report to the lobby at seven forty a.m."

There went any hope she had of sleeping in, probably forever. She sighed and nodded.

* * *

"What do you mean you have to be home early tonight?" Candace's best friend, Tamara Wilcox, huffed over the phone. "I thought we were hanging out?"

"We can still hang. I just need to get some sleep. I have to start work early in the morning," Candace explained. She flipped onto her back and braced her legs against the wall next to her bed.

There was only silence on the other end of the phone.

"Tam, you still there?"

"Uh-huh. Meet me at Starbucks."

"Can't. I'm getting a job to earn summer spending money, and Dad won't give me an advance."

"I'm buying. Just get your butt over here."

* * *

Ten minutes later Candace was sitting down at a corner table where Tamara was already waiting for her. Without a word, Tamara slid a grande hot chocolate with a shot of raspberry across the table to her.

Candace blew through the tiny opening in the lid like she always did. Tonight, though, the whistling sound it produced didn't make her smile. She was too busy trying to avoid looking at the daggers in Tamara's eyes.

"So, you're ditching me for the summer?"

"No, just five days a week. I should be free evenings and weekends."

"Did they guarantee that?"

"Well, no, but they said it would likely be that. They couldn't expect me to work during church, you know?"

Tamara crossed her arms over her chest, a sure sign she wasn't buying it. "And what about youth group? Even if they don't make you work Sunday morning they're going to make you work Friday nights."

"I should be free evenings," Candace said, slinking down into her seat and hating that she was repeating herself. Somehow, it sounded less plausible than it had earlier in the recruiter's office.

"And if you're not? It's bad enough you're going to be blowing off church and youth group, but what about me? I'm your best friend. What kind of summer am I going to have without you?"

"Come on, no matter what hours I get, it will only be thirty-five a week. We can still do all kinds of stuff. And I'll have the money to pay for it," Candace said with a sigh. It was amazing sometimes how Tamara could turn anyone's pain into her own.

Tamara uncrossed her arms and leaned forward, tapping one perfectly manicured nail on the table. "You know, if money is the issue, I can take care of that."

Candace stared at her. Tamara was rich. Her whole family was. Her monthly allowance was more than some people made in a year. Candace knew she was serious, and it was a tempting offer.

"I can't," she said at last, tears of frustration filling her eyes. "My dad would kill me."

Tamara sat back, a disappointed look on her face. "Oh, is he pulling that rite-of-passage, learn-the-value-of-work crap on you?"

Candace nodded and wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. "Yeah, he'd freak if I backed out. And I don't think you're prepared to pay for my college tuition."

Tamara laughed. "Would it get you to bail on this whole Zone thing?"

Candace scowled. "He's my dad. What can I do?"

"Nothing," Tamara said, shaking her head. "Parents are so much work."

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The Summer of Cotton Candy by Debbie Viguié Copyright © 2008 by Debbie Viguié. Excerpted by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 22 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Cotton Candy Praise

    This book is cute, fun and uplifting.Following Candice through her summer job, best friend and boy troubles is a great way to pass the day away,I enjoyed this book but I would recommend it only to younger readers 11-13

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2012

    Very good book. Read it I know you will love it.

    The book was absolutly fantastic!! I would have loved to be in Candace's shoes.Candace sometimes didn't know how great she really had it. Like when she considered quiting she didn't think about how it could affect others.What i kept on wondering was why Candace kepet on thinking about Kurt but didn't talk to him. If I was that crazy for a guy I would go up to him and say what was on my mind. I also wanted to know Lisa's purpose in the book shewas just a jerk. When i was reading the book I just wished i could slug her in the face. The book was great very realistic. With what happend to Candace and Tamara happens to me and my friends. The troubles Canadce went through weren't the same as mine but I am going though some rough times and I was able to realate and thats what I really liked. In the end i ended up loving the book and I know you will too.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 15, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The Summer of Cotton Candy

    The Summer of Cotton Candy was a really good book. I thought it was interesting and kept you wanting to read it. You wanted to know what was going to happen next a lot. There are also two more books in this series and after reading this book, I really want to read the other ones. This is also my favorite genre. I just like how it sometimes relates to actual real lives. In this book, there actually were a few parts that related to my life. For example, when she is wondering why her parents are punishing her and she is thinking back on what she might have done that lead to her parents doing this. In her case, her dad is making her have a summer job. In my case, it's just small stuff like when my parents make me do stuff I don't want to do. She definitely learned a lesson from it, though. At her job, which is a cotton candy operator at an amusement park, she learns to keep going even if you get discouraged. Her boss might have yelled at her a few times, or some of her co workers might not like her that much, and she even got accused for a few things she didn't really do, but she still kept working and didn't quit.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Sweet Coming of Age Tale

    The Summer of Cotton Candy is a sweet and lighthearted story that brings to life the summer adventures of Candace Thompson, a 17 year old who is forced to leave her comfort zone the summer between her junior and senior years to work at The Zone, a gigantic and amazing amusement park.

    Assigned to work a cotton candy cart (that is mechanized and unexpectedly takes off at will to zoom to new locations throughout the park), Candace must learn how to deal with rowdy customers, best friend problems, the challenges of holding down a summer job, and, best of all, the joy and pain that comes with having a boyfriend for the very first time (who, by the way, has bright blue eyes and plays Robin Hood at The Zone).

    A wholesome and engaging coming of age tale, Cotton Candy shows us a young woman of faith coming to terms with who she is, and who she wants to be in the future, as she grapples with a wealthy best friend who always wants to buy her things, even though she can't return the favor, and a high school dropout boyfriend who is gorgeous but only lives for the moment, although he is bright and talented. Will Candace be who her friends want her to be? Or will she find her own path?

    Highly recommended for teen and pre-teen girls, and those who want to remember exactly what it's like to be that age, with all the worries, concerns, and simple pleasures that entails.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 24, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    You are my candy girl

    I really wish that an amusement park like The Zone existed. It sounds like an awesome place to not only visit but to work as well. The job doesn't sound too hard and the perks are great. I wish this could have been my summer job! I really liked how Candace evolved throughout the story. She starts off dreading everything and wishing she was somewhere else. She sort of self-centered in the beginning with no drive or motivation. As the story continues, she grows up, makes friends, and begins to see her herself as someone with a purpose. Working at the amusement park is chaotic but it's a colorful and exciting ride. I could totally picture the park with the great descriptions the author had made. I could see the costumes, hear the rides, smell the food, and immerse myself in the crowd. The book was a total sensory experience, the next best thing to actually being there. The only thing that irked me was the whole Becca situation. I personally would have reacted exactly the same way Candace did whenever someone would only casually warn her about Becca. If it was such a life threatening issue, she really should have been officially warned by the park. I also didn't like Tamara's attitude throughout the book. She was being VERY petty in my opinion. Just because she has money to throw around doesn't mean everyone else does. I understand her being jealous of Candace having new friends but for Tamara to keep giving her a cold shoulder for obeying her parents just really irked me. This series is a great alternative to fans of Gossip Girl and other trashy teen lit series. There's nothing offensive at all in the books, but teens will relate to reading about people just like them in real situations. I'm looking forward to enjoying the rest of the seasons with Candace and the rest of The Zone gang!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2008

    Best book ever!

    i loved every minute of this book. sure it sounds lame but the story was amazing and ya I LOVED IT!it has amazing characters and amazing plot. I dont want to give too much away. But you should read it. it was amazing! Cant wait for the fall of candy corn!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2014

    Carly

    Sighs,"Not being chose am I..."

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  • Posted December 6, 2013

    I am beyond amazed at the positive reviews this book received. T

    I am beyond amazed at the positive reviews this book received. The back cover touts this series as "Light, God-honoring chick lit." I read this book before giving it to my daughter to see how edifying it was, and the first chapter had me completely turned off.WARNING: SPOILERS FOLLOW.
    The main character, Candace Thompson, is immature, whiney, has a terrible attitude toward her parents, and has obviously never worked a day in her life, despite being 16 years old (which should make her a junior rather than a senior in the fall, by the way). Throughout the entire book, she doesn't really grow as a person. She blows up at people for apparently no reason (the author does a terrible job at setting the scene), overreacts to practically every scenario thrown at her, is vindictive toward co-workers and even small children, and never apologizes to anyone for her part in any disagreement.
    Despite the notion that she's a "Christian" and attends church and a youth group, you never see her there but once. Her own father does not encourage her to prioritize her faith when her employer asks her to work on Sundays ("Well, if that's your schedule, that's your schedule"). She never cracks open her Bible once, and her prayers are all the "God, fix this!" and "Why is life so hard?" and "Are you punishing me for something?!" type. The only vague religious experience she has is the one time she makes it to church, she is moved to tears of self-pity by some contemporary Christian music.
    Also, her "Christian" best friend is petty, jealous, and ready to dump the friendship at a word after years together. She also encourages Candace to pursue a romantic relationship with a boy she knows absolutely nothing about - including his faith (or lack thereof). By the end of the book, we still don't know if her boyfriend is even a Christian. And her parents never ask once! Upon hearing of her date, her mother doesn't ask about the quality of his character, but rather helps Candace pick out a sexy outfit with a short skirt and low-cut top. Candace does more kissing than question asking until she inexplicably blows up at her boyfriend for not having enough direction in his life - something she already knew about him after their first date. After this fight, she wanders off and thinks to herself, "When did I become so mature?" My answer was, "YOU DIDN'T! You haven't grown one iota as a person or a Christian this entire book!"
    I was disgusted that Zondervan had the nerve to publish these and call them "God-honoring." Just because the main character throws up the occasional selfish prayer and mentions the words "youth group" and "church" and "God" once or twice do not make a book "Christian." They just make it marketable to a Christian audience.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2013

    Kate

    Grabs it..i found it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2013

    ?

    ?

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  • Posted May 29, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Candace Thompson¿s dad has ordered her to get a summer job and e

    Candace Thompson’s dad has ordered her to get a summer job and earn money of her own. She gets a job at The Zone, an amusement park where she’s a cotton candy operator and salesgirl. Candace starts to make friends at The Zone, including handsome guy who dresses up like the Lone Ranger. She also makes a few enemies. Plus, Candace’s best friend, Tamera, who happens to be rich, is upset that Candace doesn’t have time for her anymore and is jealous of Candace’s new friends. Can Candace learn to balance her new friends with her old? And can she stand up to the enemies she’s made at The Zone?




    What a fun read! It zipped right by. I loved Candace, and The Zone was so well thought out that it read like its own fantasy world. I can totally imagine going to that theme park! The story was funny in parts, frustrating in parts, and sweet too. I’m curious what’s going to happen in Candace’s life yet and am going to have to read book two. Recommended!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2012

    So cute!!

    I loved this series im actually reading it over again because i loved it so much!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2012

    Series

    I have read two of the books in this seruse they were really goood well reveiw me back if you r board and want to talk

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2012

    read this book

    the sweet seasons series is one of the best series i have ever read.. READ THEM !!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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