Showing posts with label Entertainment Related. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Entertainment Related. Show all posts

18 May 2021

Marvel Entertainment & SiriusXM to Premiere First Original Scripted Podcast Series 'Marvel's Wastelanders: Old Man Star-Lord' on June 1 [Trailer Included]

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Marvel Entertainment & SiriusXM to Premiere First Original Scripted Podcast Series 'Marvel's Wastelanders: Old Man Star-Lord' on June 1 [Trailer Included]
Marvel Entertainment & SiriusXM to Premiere First Original Scripted Podcast Series 'Marvel's Wastelanders: Old Man Star-Lord' on June 1 (PRNewsfoto/Sirius XM Holdings Inc.)
Marvel Entertainment and SiriusXM announced today the launch of their first original scripted podcast series, Marvel's Wastelanders: Old Man Star-Lord

The first two episodes will be available starting Tuesday, June 1, on the SiriusXM App, Pandora, Stitcher, and all major podcast platforms. 

The 10-episode series will be released weekly, kicking off season one of Marvel and SiriusXM's multi-part Marvel's Wastelanders podcast series, which will feature other Marvel heroes, including Old Man Wolverine, Old Man Hawkeye, and Grey Widow.
Marvel's Wastelanders: Old Man Star-Lord stars Timothy Busfield (The West Wing, For Life) as Star-Lord, Chris Elliott (Schitt's Creek, Eagleheart) as Rocket, and Nadine Malouf (High Fidelity, The Looming Tower) as Cora. The series will also feature Patrick Page (Hadestown, upcoming The Gilded Age) as Kraven the Hunter, with Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives) as Emma Frost and Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon, The Color Purple) as Red.
In a shadowy alternate future of the Marvel Universe, the Villains have finally won, and Heroes are nothing but a bad memory. Marvel's Wastelanders: Old Man Star-Lord finds Peter Quill and Rocket a little paunchier, a little slower, and a lot saltier than they were during the glory days of the Guardians of the Galaxy. They quickly discover that the Earth isn't what it used to be, either, when they crash land 30 years after Doctor Doom took over a barren, desolate wasteland and all the world's super-villains seized control, including outlaw Ghost Riders and the bloodthirsty Kraven the Hunter.

 The Trailer:

"Marvel's Wastelanders: Old Man Star-Lord is a story that throws you right into the action, antics – and danger – that fans of Star-Lord and Rocket know to expect, and the writers, cast, and crew did not hold back. We couldn't be prouder of how this story came together," said Stephen Wacker, Vice President and Head of Content, Marvel New Media. "This series is just the first chapter of our larger Marvel's Wastelanders plans with SiriusXM, and Peter Quill's story is only the tip of the iceberg for our new Marvel Audio Universe. We can't wait to share what's next with you all."
The series is produced in association with Wave Runner Studios and written by Benjamin Percy (Wolverine: The Long Night, Wolverine: The Lost Trail), directed by Kimberly Senior (Disgraced), and sound designed with original scoring by Mark Henry Phillips (Homecoming, Passenger List). 

The series is produced by Jenny Radelet Mast from Wave Runner Studios and executive produced by Dan Buckley, Joe Quesada, Daniel Fink, Sarah Amos, Stephen Wacker, Ellie Pyle, and Jill DuBoff from Marvel.

The cast for the series also includes actors Eric T. Miller, Elizabeth Francis, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Marylouise Burke, Blake Stadnik, Dylan Baker, and Aasif Mandvi.
Fans will also have a chance to hear from and interact with cast members and special guests in the forthcoming exclusive VIRTUAL Marvel's Wastelanders: Old Man Star-Lord Cast Town Hall this Thursday, May 20, at 4:00 pm ET/1:00 pm PT via Zoom. 

Register early for your chance to ask a question during the broadcast, and tune in for some exciting behind-the-scenes details, previews, and reveals about Marvel's Wastelanders: Old Man Star-Lord – and what comes next!

SiriusXM subscribers can tune in to SiriusXM Stars (ch. 109) on May 22 and 23 to hear the Marvel's Wastelanders: Old Man Star-Lord Cast Town Hall.

17 May 2021

[Blog Tour] 'The Shadows of Versailles' (An Affair of the Poisons, Book One) By Cathie Dunn #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalMystery

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[Blog Tour] 'The Shadows of Versailles' (An Affair of the Poisons, Book One) By Cathie Dunn #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalMystery
The Shadows of Versailles - Tour Banner

The Book:

The Shadows of Versailles
(An Affair of the Poisons Book One)
By Cathie Dunn

  • Publication Date: November 20th, 2020
  • Publisher: Ocelot Press
  • Page Length: 251 (ebook) / 277 (pb)
  • Genre: historical fiction / mystery

The Blurb:

Dazzled by Versailles. Broken by tragedy. Consumed by revenge.

When Fleur de La Fontaine attends the court of King Louis XIV for the first time, she is soon besotted with handsome courtier, Philippe de Mortain. She dreams of married life away from her uncaring mother, but Philippe keeps a secret from her.

Nine months later, after the boy she has given birth to in a convent is whisked away, she flees to Paris where she mends gowns in the brothel of Madame Claudette, a woman who helps ‘fallen’ girls back on their feet.

Jacques de Montagnac investigates a spate of abducted children when his path crosses Fleur’s. He searches for her son, but the trail leads to a dead end – and a dreadful realisation.

Her boy’s suspected fate too much to bear, Fleur decides to avenge him. She visits the famous midwife, La Voisin, but it’s not the woman’s skills in childbirth that Fleur seeks.

La Voisin dabbles in poisons.

Will Fleur see her plan through? Or can she save herself from a tragic fate?

Delve into The Shadows of Versailles and enter the sinister world of potions, poisoners and black masses during the Affairs of the Poisons, a real event that stunned the court of the Sun King!
[Blog Tour] 'The Shadows of Versailles' (An Affair of the Poisons, Book One) By Cathie Dunn #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalMystery
Shadows of Versailles - Front Cover

 'The Shadows of Versailles' - Excerpt:

(From Chapter Two:)
Châtelet, Paris

Jacques de Montagnac approached the gate of the Grand Châtelet. The stench of blood and carcasses from the streets lingered in the air, even though it was late evening. The lack of street lighting, recently introduced in the finer quarters of Paris, made walking through the streets around the headquarters of the new police force treacherous. He didn’t want to leave a trace on his worn leather boots of where he had been.

His hood drawn deep over his face, he looked around but found no proof of anyone following him. He slipped through the gateway that let into an inner courtyard. Cries and moans from prisoners locked up in the many oubliettes reached him. The poor devils. Jacques had seen the maze of small cells, and they weren’t a pretty sight. Many a man never left them alive.

Taking a deep breath, which he regretted instantly, he turned to the far side, towards the door to the offices of the Lieutenant General of the police, Gabriel Nicolas de La Reynie. This wasn’t Jacques’ first visit. In fact, he’d long lost count of the number of times he reported back to his superior. Ever since he’d joined La Reynie’s extensive spy network five years earlier.

He’d been so naïve! Aged nineteen, and with a confidence far exceeding his diminished funds, he’d presented himself to the Lieutenant General. Jacques grinned as he climbed the stairs two at a time. On La Reynie’s request, he’d had to prove himself by blending into the underworld of Paris. But he’d had to work hard for it.

“Good evening,” a fellow officer greeted him in passing. “He’s awaiting your company.”

Jacques nodded. Eventually, outside de la Reynie’s office, he pulled back his hood and straightened.

At his knock on the door, he heard the gruff voice of his superior. “Come in!”

Around him, the corridor was deserted. Still, it was worth to check. His life depended on secrecy. He slipped inside the office and lowered his head. “Lieutenant General.”

“Jacques, please sit.” La Reynie never wasted time with polite conversation so beloved by the nobility.

Jacques sat as bid and waited until his superior had placed a note into a file, then moved it to a shelf behind him.

“I’ve not seen you in over a week. Has something happened?”

The man’s sharp eyes met his. Nothing seemed to escape him.

“Yes, sir.” Jacques leaned forward, placing his elbows on his legs. “There is trouble brewing.”

La Reynie laughed. “There always is. Tell me something new!”

Jacques remained serious. “Some of the charlatans are getting devious. There has been a rise in abductions of infants.”

The Lieutenant General leaned back in his seat and folded his hands in his lap. “I’ve learned about the disappearance of several babies. Continue.”

“They are alive when they’re taken, sir. Many women in the quartiers around the former Court of Miracles worry about this. I’ve spoken to six new mothers who were told their baby had been stillborn, yet they could hear a child’s whimper when the midwives took them away.”

“Is it one particular midwife, or do they work hand in hand?”

“Oh, most definitely more than one. I have no names as yet, but I’ll get them for you.”

“Thank you. Do you think it is intentional? They deceive the mothers, removing their children against their will?”

Jacques nodded. “Yes. The men in charge of the thieves and cutpurses brush off any questions about it. I believe they have a hand in it, or at least know who does.”

La Reynie stood and walked to the window overlooking the River Seine. “We have problems finding out the truth from that quartier. You’re one of the few men on the inside, and I'm aware of the danger you put yourself into every day is real.” He turned to face Jacques, his mouth in a thin line. “We lost Etienne two weeks ago. I have no idea what gave him away.”

Jacques nodded faintly. “Ah. I’d been wondering if something had happened to him.”

“His body floated in the Seine,” La Reynie said drily. “My men fished him out last Sunday morning. His throat was cut.”

Jacques hung his head. “I’m sorry, sir.” He hadn’t particularly liked Etienne, but the man had been a comforting presence in the den of cut-throats, thieves and scheming alchemists. It confirmed his suspicion that he must look over his shoulder all the time.

“Do you know what he was working on last?”

“Not in detail.” Jacques shook his head, meeting his superior’s gaze. “When I last spoke to him, he said he’d uncovered something linked to black masses. But he didn’t share his findings with me.”

“But you think the black masses are linked to the missing children?”

“It makes sense. But it has to be a fairly important person to demand such a risky sacrifice. I’d imagine a high price.”

“Like courtiers.”

Jacques nodded. “Yes.”

“But no names came up?”

“No. I’ve heard of several persons having visited herbalists, or whatever they like to call themselves, but they’re very secretive, often sending servants in their place. That reminds me, how goes the search for the Marquise de Brinvilliers? Rumour has it she is in the Spanish Netherlands.”

A sly smile played on La Reynie’s lips. “She might be. Or in England. We are on her trail, although she tries to trick us by moving around various nunneries.”

“The news should send some people in the quartiers scurrying into their dens,” Jacques mused.

“And that’s why you, Jacques, are best placed to discover who these rats are that are going into hiding.”

Jacques didn’t like the smug look on La Reynie’s face, his thin smile and challenging glance. Everything the Lieutenant General did served a purpose. He did not waste time. “What would you like me to do?”

“There is a specific priest Desgrez has been watching, but he might be aware of it. Abbé Guibourg. There is something about him, but we have no proof of wrongdoing so far. Here is the address.” La Reynie handed Jacques a note, and he slid it into his inner coat pocket. “Keep your ears open to any gossip!”

“I shall. And what about the stolen babies?”

“Yes, keep digging. I want to discover who organises those black masses – and who attends them. People would pay a lot of money for them.” De la Reynie returned to his seat and leaned forward, elbows on his large desk. “Who knows – these incidences are likely linked.”

“That’s what I think, sir. Is that all?”

“It is, for today. Report back to me by next Monday if you can.” The Lieutenant General gave him a sharp nod, then picked up a file on his right.

Jacques stood and took his leave. As he opened the door, La Reynie said, “And Jacques?”

He turned, pulling his hood up. “Sir?”

“Be careful!”


[Blog Tour] 'The Shadows of Versailles' (An Affair of the Poisons, Book One) By Cathie Dunn #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalMystery
Cathie Dunn

Author Bio:

Cathie Dunn writes historical fiction, mystery, and romance.

Cathie has been writing for over twenty years. She studied Creative Writing, with a focus on novel writing, which she now teaches in the south of France. She loves researching for her novels, delving into history books, and visiting castles and historic sites.

Her stories have garnered awards and praise from reviewers and readers for their authentic description of the past.

Cathie is a member of the Historical Novel Society and the Alliance of Independent Authors.

After nearly two decades in Scotland, she now lives in the historic city of Carcassonne in the south of France with her husband, two cats and a rescue dog.

Connect with Cathie Dunn:

Website ✔ Twitter ✔ Facebook ✔ Instagram ✔ Pinterest 
BookBub 
✔ Amazon Author Page ✔ Goodreads 


[Blog Tour] 'The Shadows of Versailles' (An Affair of the Poisons, Book One) By Cathie Dunn #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalMystery
The Shadows of Versailles - Tour Schedule Banner


15 May 2021

'Asleep In The Back' Collection From elbow Premieres May 7 on Digital Services For 20th Anniversary

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To celebrate the 20th anniversary of their 2001 debut album, 'Asleep In The Back,' elbow have announced the release to streaming services today of a collection of rare tracks.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of their 2001 debut album, Asleep In The Back, elbow have announced the release to streaming services today of a collection of rare tracks, available here..
Alongside the original studio album and a number of B-sides, the collection includes tracks taken from their debut Noisebox EP, featuring the original recording of "Powder Blue," and their two releases for Manchester independent Uglyman Records, the Newborn EP and the Any Day Now EP. 

  • Fans will also be able to hear six tracks from the band's headline show at London Astoria on October 24, during the album tour; three tracks recorded for Steve Lamacq's Evening Session on Radio One, transmitted in April 2001; and remixes of album tracks, including fellow Mancunian Andy Votel's take on "Powder Blue."
Upon its initial release, Asleep In The Back announced elbow as one of the brightest hopes for UK music as shown by their nomination in the 2001 BRIT Awards for Best New British Band. The album was nominated for the 2001 Mercury Prize, narrowly missing out to PJ Harvey, and secured the first of the band's 9/10 album reviews from NME, which said of it: "Radiohead finally have a competitor worthy of healthy comparison." The same title would describe lead track, "Newborn," as "A single of such magnificent flight and depth it darkens the skies above most other British guitar groups."
elbow would go on to make history as the only UK group to ever secure four consecutive 9/10 album reviews from the magazine.
Asleep In The Back
won fans across the board, with The Guardian praising singer Guy Garvey as "a master of the arresting image," in the first of many tributes to his lyrical prowess, and The Daily Telegraph heralding "a wondrous and ambitious album." 

Following its release, elbow would go on to become a constant presence in the UK album charts, a mainstay "must watch" at UK festivals and, ultimately, achieve multi-platinum status, UK Number One albums, BRIT Awards, Mercury Prize and Ivor Novello wins and universal acclaim.
Twenty years later, Asleep In The Back, and the recordings made around its release, re-emphasize that bond at the core of the group and serve as reminders of the beginnings of an incredible journey. Now available on digital streaming services is an audio guide to the starting point of one of the most unique and compelling stories in modern British music history
elbow 2019 (Photo: Peter Neill via elbow website)
elbow are currently in the studio working on tracks for their ninth studio album.

The full tracklisting for the 20th anniversary edition of Asleep In The Back on streaming services:

Asleep In The Back

1. Any Day Now
2. Red
3. Little Beast
4. Powder Blue
5. Bitten By The Tailfly
6. Asleep In The Back
7. Newborn
8. Don't Mix Your Drinks
9. Presuming Ed (Rest Easy)
10. Coming Second
11. Can't Stop
12. Scattered Black And Whites

Asleep In The Back EPs and B Sides

1. Powder Blue (The Noisebox EP Version)
2. Red (The Noisebox EP Version)
3. Theme From Munroe Kelly (The Noisebox EP Version)
4. Can't Stop (The Noisebox EP Version)
5. Kisses (The Newborn EP Version)
6. none one (The Newborn EP Version)
7. Wurzel (The Any Day Now EP Version)
8. George Lassoes The Moon (The Any Day Now EP Version)
9. Vum Garda
10. About Time
11. Suffer
12. Lucky With Disease
13. One Thing That Was Bothering Me
14. Stumble
15. Puckfair

Asleep In The Back Sessions, Remixes and Acoustic Tracks

1. Newborn – BBC Radio 1 Lamacq Session
2. Don't Mix Your Drinks - BBC Radio 1 Lamacq Session
3. Red - BBC Radio 1 Lamacq Session
4. Powder Blue (Andy Votel Mix)
5. Press Your Lips (Newborn) (El Presidente Remix)
6. Coming Second (Fink Remix)
7. Coming Second (Misery:Lab Remix)
8. Newborn Bitten By The Black Dog
9. About Time (Acoustic Version)
10. The Crow (Acoustic Version)
11. Newborn (Acoustic Version)

Asleep In The Back Live At The Astoria 24th October 2001

1. Bitten By The Tailfly – Live At The Astoria
2. Coming Second – Live At The Astoria
3. Don't Mix Your Drinks – Live At The Astoria
4. Can't Stop – Live At The Astoria
5. Scattered Black And Whites – Live At The Astoria
6. George Lassoes The Moon – Live At The Astoria


SOURCE: Polydor/UMe

14 May 2021

The Race Epidemic Documentary Featuring Rob Bonta, John Chiang, Judy Chu Premieres At CAAMFest [Trailer Included]

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The Race Epidemic Documentary Featuring Rob Bonta, John Chiang, Judy Chu Premieres At CAAMFest [Trailer Included]
The Race Epidemic Documentary Featuring Rob Bonta, John Chiang, Judy Chu Premieres At CAAMFest (Screengrab)
The Race Epidemic documentary is a significant film of our time as innocent Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) are being attacked and murdered on America's streets. The documentary tells the story of AAPIs and their unique history in the broader context of racism in America. Racism is America's epidemic – it has plagued the American nation since its inception. It attacks different groups more intensely at different times, but it always persists.
  • The Race Epidemic features interviews with CA Attorney General Rob Bonta, Congressmember Judy Chu (CA-27), Speaker of the CA Legislature Anthony Rendon, Assemblymember David Chiu (AD-17), Assemblymember Evan Low (AD-28), Thomas Saenz, Esq. of Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund (MALDEF) and other scholars and elected leaders. (Full cast list here).
CA Attorney General Rob Bonta says in the film: "A lot of people see the anti-immigrant rhetoric in action from the Federal Administration as a Latino issue, it is not simply a Latino issue, it is a human issue for sure but also very much an Asian issue. Our community is under attack with this anti-immigrant rhetoric."
Ultimately, the film seeks to heal America through understanding, compassion, and knowledge. "A deep understanding of each other's history and struggles is fundamental to us coming together as a nation. Unfortunately, in times of economic uncertainty and fear race has been used to divide us. This film can help people understand we are all in this together, and when one of us is attacked we all suffer," said Ronald Wong, writer and producer of the documentary.
The documentary's release comes amid widespread reports of discrimination and violence against AAPIs during the coronavirus outbreak, 32% of Asian adults say they have feared someone might threaten or physically attack them – a greater share than other racial or ethnic groups. The vast majority of Asian adults (81%) also say violence against them is increasing, far surpassing the share of all U.S. adults (56%) who say the same, according to a new Pew Research Center survey released just this week.

The Race Epidemic Documentary Featuring Rob Bonta, John Chiang, Judy Chu Premieres At CAAMFest [Trailer Included]
The Race Epidemic Documentary Featuring Rob Bonta, John Chiang, Judy Chu Premieres At CAAMFest (Screengrab)
The time is right for this film and its important message. In selecting The Race Documentary for inclusion in CAAMFest the selection committee said: "It's an incredibly relevant film due to the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes. It was nice to see you connect the historical legacy of hate with what's happening now. We think your film would be perfect for our festival."
While recent attacks on AAPIs have tragically risen, this is not a new story, as it has played out throughout America's history. The Chinese Exclusion Act was preceded by riots in both San Francisco and Los Angeles Chinatowns where Chinese laborers were murdered and millions of dollars in property were destroyed because of the perceived threats and public health dangers the Chinese community posed.
However, this film is much more than just documenting history; it is also meant to stir emotions and actions. "I learned about the perceptions of Asian Americans through film. When I was growing up in Southern California, I was routinely ridiculed and bullied based on negative perceptions of AAPIs on the big screen. Negative stereotypes and demeaning portrayals of us has real effects on our community and the psyche of AAPIs," said Tony Shyu, director and writer of The Race Epidemic.
  • The documentary is being produced under the auspices of the Asian Pacific American Leadership Foundation (APALF), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. APALF's mission is to engage the AAPI community in active civic participation by creating, supporting, building and strengthening the local community infrastructure to help prepare and train qualified AAPI leaders for public service. The documentary will be used as part of an overall curriculum to help respond to bias, discrimination, and violence against AAPIs.
The Race Epidemic Documentary Featuring Rob Bonta, John Chiang, Judy Chu Premieres At CAAMFest [Trailer Included]
The Race Epidemic is about another outbreak caused by COVID-19: An epidemic of hate based on race against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs)

The Trailer:

Production Team:

Ronald W. Wong, Producer & Writer - Founder of the Asian Pacific American Leadership Foundation and President of Imprenta Communications Group, an award-wining public affairs, ethnic marketing, and advertising firm. Ron serves as producer & writer and oversees the production and management of the documentary.

Ron has been involved in politics and political campaigns for the past 30 years. He has won nearly 100 awards for his creative work including the production of commercials, public service announcements (PSAs), and traditional and digital advertising, including recognition from the California State Legislature Asian Pacific Islander Caucus, among many others.

A master storyteller, Ron is a recognized expert in politics, communications, and advertising targeting diverse communities. He served as a political appointee in President Clinton's Administration at the U.S Department of Justice Community Relations Service, where he worked on hate crime policies, racial reconciliation, the President's Initiative on Race, and developed the "One America Dialogue Guide."

The Race Epidemic is the culmination of Ron's work in politics, social justice, and the political empowerment of diverse underrepresented communities for the last 35 years. Ron has been involved and committed to the civic and political engagement and empowerment of AAPIs for nearly four decades.
Tony Shyu, Director & Writer - is a noted director and award-winning screenwriter. Tony serves as director & producer of The Race Epidemic. Tony spent many years in Asia creating award-winning commercials for major brands such as Avon, Volvo, and Visa. He won the Taiwan Times award, which is Asia's equivalent of a Clio award. The PSA he directed for API Vote starring George Takei, John Cho, and Constance Wu won the 2016 Videographer award.

Tony is also currently in production on an all-Asian American cast show for Bravo TV and in development for an all-Asian cast TV show for Netflix. His award-winning screenplay Macau Omen, has been translated into a novel and now is being developed into a feature film. His short film, Macau Twilight (2008) was an official selection at the BFI London Film Festival. Tony also wrote, directed, and produced a feature film, Tequila Body Shots (1999), which was distributed by Lionsgate.

Tony received his B.A. and M.F.A. in film from the renowned Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, which is known for creating visual story tellers. His classmates at Art Center included famed award-winning directors Michael Bay, Zack Snyder, and Tarsem Singh among many others.
Johnnie Giles is an Executive Producer and previously served as Executive Director of External Affairs for Comcast Corporation and Vice President of External Affairs for Comcast Cable, in this role he was the principal interface between Comcast and the national AAPI community organizations and working with the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. He has been active within the AAPI community for nearly three decades. He previously served on the executive board of the Center for Asian American Media, and was a founding member of Asian Americans for Good Government PAC, which supports AAPI candidates for elected office. Johnnie also was the founding board chairman for the California Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce, and he has also served on the boards of a number of organizations serving the AAPI community including AAJC, APIAVote, APALC, APAPA, JACL, ACE, OCA, and APAICS C4.
John & Sarah Kobara serve as Executive Producers. John is a social entrepreneur who has been advancing social change and the issues of the AAPI communities through a variety of positions of influence. He has been leading workshops for Asian American leaders for 30 years. John and Sarah have raised three young Asian-American leaders who are all pursuing for-purpose careers. John and Sarah have devoted their lives to sustaining the dream of their immigrant ancestors by helping others build a more joyful, equitable, just, and compassionate world. They actively support the Japanese American National Museum, Center for Asian Americans for Self Empowerment (CAUSE), the US Japan Council, MLK Community Hospital Foundation, Coro and Defy Ventures.

The Race Epidemic Documentary Featuring Rob Bonta, John Chiang, Judy Chu Premieres At CAAMFest [Trailer Included]
The Race Epidemic Documentary Featuring Rob Bonta, John Chiang, Judy Chu Premieres At CAAMFest (Screengrab)

About APALF:

The Asian Pacific American Leadership Foundation was founded in 2004 as a non-partisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization designed to help prepare and better equip Asian Pacific American (APA) leaders for public service and civic involvement.

About CAAMFest:

CAAMFest celebrates the world's largest showcase for new Asian American and Asian film, food, and music programs.

About CAAM:

For over 40 years, the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) has been dedicated to presenting stories that convey the richness and diversity of Asian American experiences to the broadest audience possible. As a nonprofit organization, CAAM funds, produces, distributes, and exhibits works in film, television, and digital media. 

SOURCE: Asian Pacific American Leadership Foundation

[Blog Tour] 'Under the Light of the Italian Moon' By Jennifer Anton #HistoricalFiction #ItalyWWII

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[Blog Tour]  'Under the Light of the Italian Moon'  By Jennifer Anton #HistoricalFiction #ItalyWWII
'Under the Light of the Italian Moon' - Tour Banner

The Book:

Under the Light of the Italian Moon

By Jennifer Anton

  • Publication Date: 8th March 2021
  • Publisher: Amsterdam Publishers
  • Page Length: 394 Pages
  • Genre: Historical Fiction/Biographical Fiction

The Blurb:

A promise keeps them apart until WW2 threatens to destroy their love forever

Fonzaso Italy, between two wars

Nina Argenta doesn’t want the traditional life of a rural Italian woman. The daughter of a strong-willed midwife, she is determined to define her own destiny. But when her brother emigrates to America, she promises her mother to never leave.

When childhood friend Pietro Pante briefly returns to their mountain town, passion between them ignites while Mussolini forces political tensions to rise. Just as their romance deepens, Pietro must leave again for work in the coal mines of America. Nina is torn between joining him and her commitment to Italy and her mother.

As Mussolini’s fascists throw the country into chaos and Hitler’s Nazis terrorise their town, each day becomes a struggle to survive greater atrocities. A future with Pietro seems impossible when they lose contact and Nina’s dreams of a life together are threatened by Nazi occupation and an enemy she must face alone…

A gripping historical fiction novel, based on a true story and heartbreaking real events.

Spanning over two decades, Under the Light of the Italian Moon is an epic, emotional and triumphant tale of one woman’s incredible resilience during the rise of fascism and Italy’s collapse into WWII.

[Blog Tour]  'Under the Light of the Italian Moon'  By Jennifer Anton #HistoricalFiction #ItalyWWII
'Under the Light of the Italian Moon' - Front Cover

'Under the Light of the Italian Moon'  - Excerpt:

November 1914 Nina Argenta stared at the altar, trying to concentrate on the Mass since there was no chance of escape. The warm fragrance of incense surrounded her, and the priest’s recitations combined with the candlelit sanctuary made it hard to keep herself awake. It was Sunday, and like every Sunday of her ten years on Earth, she sat dutifully, bored by the teachings of the ancient text that is the Roman Catholic Holy Bible.

Under the vaulted ceiling of the Chiesa della Natività di Maria, the Madonna statue at the side of the church watched her. Candlelight illuminated the blue veil and gentle expression of the Blessed Virgin casting a shine, like polish, on one side of her face and leaving the other in shadow. Nina shivered, tugging her sweater around her shoulders. The yarn, thick under her fingertips, made her feel secure. It had been a gift from her mother on Nina’s birthday two weeks before – the birthday they shared.

“We are born on the cusp of two moons, passionate and loyal. A gift for my gift,” her mother had said when she gave Nina the present, blue to match her light eyes. It covered the once-white dress she wore that had belonged to her older sister. She leaned against the solid wood of the pew and studied the colours in the paintings of Frigimelica and Forabosco hanging on the grand church walls. Garments of rich burgundies like dried blood, sparkling golds, skin on a flat canvas painted to project luminescence and curve. It was easy to distract yourself from Mass when surrounded by such intricacy.

The women of her family sat to her right: seven of them in the row behind the nuns, a place of honour. The Argenta women occupied the same pew every Sunday. Onorina, four years her senior, perfect and pious, kept her eyes closed and prayed with a sparkling rosary threaded through her clasped hands, oblivious to the three youngest sisters who fretted next to their mother. Her father and younger brother, Vante, sat in front with the other men. Men in front, women in back, separated by the nuns. Nina’s older brother, Antonio, had not joined them today. At breakfast, tension had hung between him and their mother, which she assumed was why he missed Mass. The priest would surely notice. Mamma would be disappointed. Nina knew how it felt to let her down.

The chapel veil sitting atop her head slipped as she looked up at the imposing crucifix that stabbed down above the altar. Adjusting the lace, she missed a prayer response, causing her mother to look over with a lifted eyebrow. Adelasia Dalla Santa Argenta was not a woman to make angry, especially not during Mass. Her wooden spoon would be waiting at home to beat your culo if you weren’t good. She had a reputation for sternness not only with her family but with the entire town.

As the only trained midwife in Fonzaso and the villages surrounding, she had delivered every child Nina knew and had earned the nickname, La Capitana, The Captain. It was said even the priest feared her.

Nina could see her father, Corrado Argenta, through the heads and habits as he shifted from side to side. His eyelids drooped in boredom, but he glanced back from time to time to check on his wife and mother, both of whom he feared as much as the children did. Nonna Argenta, small and severe in her black dress and head covering, was the only one besides Onorina entirely consumed by the Mass. Nonna looks just like a strega, thought Nina, missing only a broom to fly away on.

Nina let out a relieved sigh when it was time for Communion. At last! Mass would be over soon, and she couldn’t wait to be by the fireplace, reading her book after helping Mamma and Nonna prepare the polenta for supper. She walked up the marble aisle, inching forward behind the nuns, then knelt at the altar and held out her tongue, awaiting the body of Christ. Receiving the wafer, she gave the sign of the cross and stood to head back to her seat. The taste of creamy paper stuck to the roof of her mouth and she contemplated why God would want children to have sore knees and numb bottoms to get into Heaven.

Passing rows of men knelt to pray after Communion, she saw the large Pante family filling two benches in the front of the church. Pietro, one of her sister’s classmates, leaned unceremoniously in the pew, trying to help his tiny brother fix his shoelaces, tied together so he would trip. A messy redhead crouched in the seat behind them was the likely culprit of the prank. The Pante boy finished helping his brother, then sat back on the pew, catching Nina’s eye and giving her a quiet smile. She hesitated before returning it. The Madonna was still watching her. I should be praying after receiving the body of Christ. She returned to her seat, then knelt again, bruised knees on cold wood, to await the end of the Mass.

Fratelli e sorelle, ” Don Segala proclaimed after he had completed the liturgy. “I would like to ask for a special prayer today. Another group is leaving tomorrow for America. They will travel to Genoa and take a long ship ride. Signori, please join me here on the altar.” The pews squeaked, echoing in the church as a group of five men and three boys walked to the front. To Nina’s surprise, the Pante boy was one of them. Was it possible such a young boy was going on that voyage? There was an earnestness in the way he stood next to the other men who were a head taller than he was; his face was sombre. He stuck out a proud, lifted chin, smooth, unlike the others. A patched brown jacket, cut too wide, hung on his slender physique. I wonder how many brothers have worn that jacket before him.

The priest called out each of the men’s names. “Lord, please bless these men and give them a safe journey to America. Allow them to prosper there and, if it is your will, bring them safely home to their families here in Fonzaso.”

The parishioners united in an “Amen”. As Pietro returned to his seat, he peered back towards the Argenta pew, gave a wry smile, and nodded. Nina tried to see if he was looking at her or her sister, but Onorina was quick to bow her head again. The Madonna was watching her, too.

Nina knew many men were leaving Fonzaso to find work abroad. She had overheard her father mentioning it to her mother – the emigranti – but she never imagined such young people going. It unsettled her, and her heart raced as questions filled her head. Pietro Pante, who lived with his family a few streets down, who went to school with her sister, was leaving for America.

America!

The furthest she had travelled was to Padua with her mother, and Bergamo once. How exciting! What will happen to him? What would it be like to sail on a ship, miles away, to a new country? To start life over far away from Fonzaso? The Mass ended and the parishioners rose in song. Nina lent her voice with fervour and when she looked again at the Blessed Virgin, it seemed the Madonna was smiling at her.

[Blog Tour]  'Under the Light of the Italian Moon'  By Jennifer Anton #HistoricalFiction #ItalyWWII
Jennifer Anton

Author Bio:

Jennifer Anton is an American/Italian dual citizen born in Joliet, Illinois and now lives between London and Lake Como, Italy. A proud advocate for women's rights and equality, she hopes to rescue women's stories from history, starting with her Italian family.

Connect with Jennifer Anton:

Website ✔ Twitter ✔ Facebook ✔ Instagram ✔ Pinterest ✔ Book Bub 

Amazon Author Page ✔ Goodreads ✔ Youtube 

[Blog Tour]  'Under the Light of the Italian Moon'  By Jennifer Anton #HistoricalFiction #ItalyWWII
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12 May 2021

John H. Mudgett Wins Silver Medal in eLit Book Awards for Psychological Horror 'Crazy Is as Crazy Does: The Life of a Serial Killer'

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John H. Mudgett Wins Silver Medal in eLit Book Awards for Psychological Horror 'Crazy Is as Crazy Does: The Life of a Serial Killer'
'Crazy Is as Crazy Does: The Life of a Serial Killer' - Front Cover
Pseudonymous author John H. Mudgett announced that his novella, "Crazy Is as Crazy Does" was recently awarded an eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in the Horror Category
The 12th annual awards program honors the very best of digital publishing and is open to all English publishers across North America and those abroad publishing for an American market.
"Crazy Is as Crazy Does" is a tensely clever, first-person psychological thriller that deep-dives into the world of an experienced serial killer. 

Synopsis: 

The fictional protagonist, John Goodman, is an amalgam of human predation and darkness, carefully stitched from the ragged shreds of multiple serial killers' lives – shadowy predators that have stalked the American landscape for centuries. But though he is fictional, the circumstances of Goodman's dark life are firmly rooted in historical characters and events. "Crazy Is as Crazy Does" begins in 1955 and follows John as he evolves from a timid and disorganized criminal into a powerful mastermind of deception and intimidation. The story takes readers on a journey through the 75-year-old killer's life, ending shortly after the capture of the Golden State Killer in 2018. But like all unreliable narrators, readers are forced to grapple with an important question: Can they accurately separate fact from Goodman's twisted fiction? Readers quickly discover that the real horror unfolding is twofold: the murderous activities described by Goodman himself, and the twisted transformations of those around him – culminating in a shocking, high stakes ending.
Crazy Is as Crazy Does: The Life of a Serial Killer' - Back Cover
"The book is an exploration of evil – but not some evil that is distant and unknown," said decorated Navy veteran and author David Brown (John H. Mudgett). "Readers have to ask themselves: What leads someone to kill another just for self-gratification? How does a killer manage to elude detection for his entire life, even if he's prolific? Who was the 'Zodiac Killer,' and why did he abruptly stop antagonizing the police with his encrypted letters? And who helped Officer Roseland escape from jail? I explore these questions, along with other real killers from history, with names like the Co-ed Killer, the Texas Tower Sniper, the Damsel of Death, The Killer Clown, and The Lizard King."

 

  • The e-book is available for purchase via Amazon, and is free for Kindle Unlimited readers.

From "Crazy Is as Crazy Does": 

"I opened the trunk of my broke down car to make sure my little package was wrapped tight. She was okay with her hands and feet loosely hogtied. She was lying sideways, stomach-up, her back putting pressure on her limbs against the spare tire container located at the bottom of the trunk. When I opened the trunk lid, I saw her head move slightly, her eyes wide open and her mouth filled with a tennis ball which was duct-taped around her entire head. I could hear her struggling to breathe but knew she would not die until I decided. I was overpowered by that feeling of total intoxication. Soon I would get to hear her scream when I ripped the duct tape from her head tearing off clumps of her hair with it. I imagined the look she would be giving me."

 

  • Learn more about "Crazy Is as Crazy Does" by following David Brown (John H. Mudgett) on Facebook.
SOURCE: John H. Mudgett

[Audio Blog Tour] 'The Assassins' By Alan Bardos (Audiobook Narrated By Jack Bennett) #HistoricalFiction #Thriller

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[Audio Blog Tour] 'The Assassins' By Alan Bardos (Audiobook Narrated By Jack Bennett) #HistoricalFiction #Thriller
'The Assassins' - Audio Blog Tour Banner

The Book:

'The Assassins' 
By Alan Bardos
Audiobook narrated by Jack Bennett
  • Series: Johnny Swift Thrillers
  • Publication Date: (current edition) 15th February 2021
  • Publisher: Sharpe Books
  • Page Length: 376 Pages
  • Genre: Historical Thriller

The Blurb:

1914.

Tensions are reaching boiling point in Europe and the threat of war is imminent.

Johnny Swift, a young and brash diplomatic clerk employed by the British embassy is sent to infiltrate the ‘Young Bosnians’, a group of idealistic conspirators planning to murder Franz Ferdinand. The heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, in a bid to liberate their country from the monarchy’s grip.

Swift has been having an affair with his employer’s wife, Lady Elizabeth Smyth. Sir George Smyth dispatches the agent on the dangerous mission, believing that it will be the last he will see of his young rival.

The agent manages to infiltrate the Young Bosnian conspirators’ cell, helped by Lazlo Breitner, a Hungarian Civil Servant.

However, Swift soon realises that he may be in over his head. His gambling debts and taste for beautiful women prove the least of his problems as he struggles to survive on his wits in the increasingly complex - and perilous - world of politics and espionage.

Desperate to advance himself and with the lives of a royal couple unexpectedly in his hands, Swift tries to avert catastrophe.
[Audio Blog Tour] 'The Assassins' By Alan Bardos (Audiobook Narrated By Jack Bennett) #HistoricalFiction #Thriller
'The Assassins' By Alan Bardos - Front Cover

Praise for 'Assassins':

A cracking read, highly recommended’ - Roger A Price
Written with polished panache, it kept me gripped from the first to last. Five stars from me!’ - A.A. Chaudhuri
Part historical fiction, part thriller and part love story, this is a compelling and entertaining read’ - Gary Haynes
Buy Links: Amazon UK ✔  Amazon US 
 ✔ 
  • This book is available to read for free with #KindleUnlimited subscription.

Audiobook Excerpt:


Audiobook Buy Links: 
US Audible ✔ UK Audible ✔ US Amazon ✔ UK Amazon 

[Audio Blog Tour] 'The Assassins' By Alan Bardos (Audiobook Narrated By Jack Bennett) #HistoricalFiction #Thriller
Alan Bardos

Author Bio:

Alan Bardos is a graduate of the MA in TV Script Writing at De Montfort University, he also has a degree in Politics and History from Brunel University. Writing historical fiction combines the first great love of his life, making up stories, with the second, researching historical events and characters. Alan currently lives in Oxfordshire with his wife… the other great love of his life.

Despite the amount of material that has been written about the twentieth century there is still a great deal of mystery and debate surrounding many of its events, which Alan explores in his historical fiction series using a certain amount of artistic license to fill in the gaps, while remaining historically accurate. The series will chronicle the first half of the twentieth century from the perspective of Johnny Swift, a disgraced and degenerate diplomat and soldier; starting with the pivotal event of the twentieth century, the Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, in ‘The Assassins’.

Connect with Alan Bardos:

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8 May 2021

Carmen Electra and JeffBezos4skin Drop First NFT Collection With 'Cleavage For Sale'

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A unique real estate opportunity! (CNW Group/Foreskin inc.)
Carmen Electra recently rocked the NFT community by announcing her first NFT collection in collaboration with decorated NFT collector: @Jeffbezos4skin on TMZ. She will be dropping a series of digital art pieces, including a 1 of 1, exclusive opportunity to own a piece of her body (cleavage area) and use it as a canvas for art, promotional purposes or any other customizable message including logos or company names. 
  • To reiterate, this NFT will offer digital real estate on Carmen Electra's cleavage that the highest bidder can customize however they please. This project merges body art with digital art and introduces a new venue for advertising in the NFT space. Also, some of the proceeds from this drop will be donated to The Breast Cancer Research foundation at the Stand Up To Cancer organization.
Carmen and her agent Darren Prince, CEO of Prince Marketing Group / Prince Digital Group and her manager Thaer Mustafa , loved the idea of an interactive digital art project that provides a personalized value to both collectors and creators that can truly last forever. Further, they pledge to use their expansive networks to market the 1/1 customizable NFT together to ensure a lucrative experience for the auction winner.

Carmen, a woman well-versed in the entertainment industry as a singer/dancer discovered by Prince who then moved on to be an actress on Baywatch and model for Playboy, is very optimistic about NFTs. Unlike most celebrities who enter the space for a quick personal cash-grab, Carmen's attitude towards NFTs is best described as hopeful and committed. 
On the matter, she stated "My NFTs are not only here to arouse you, but here to make you money, which by the way you will enjoy for much longer than my marriage to Dennis Rodman."
Together, Prince, 4skin and Electra intend to release more revolutionary NFT opportunities similar to what they have called this "Cleavage Real-Estate" project. With the impressive roster of iconic athletes and celebrities represented by Prince Marketing Group, the collection and know-how of JeffBezos4skin and Electra's many assets, anyone with an eye out for NFTs should be paying attention. 
The drop will be announced on carmennft.com .

  • Follow @carmensnft and @jeffbezos4skin on all social media for more information.
SOURCE: Foreskin inc.

7 May 2021

[Blog Tour] 'The Queen's Rival' By Anne O'Brien #HistoricalFiction #Medieval

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[Blog Tour] 'The Queen's Rival' By Anne O'Brien #HistoricalFiction #Medieval
 'The Queen's Rival' - Tour Banner

The Book:

The Queen's Rival
By Anne O'Brien
  • Publication Date: 15th April 2021(paperback) September 2020 (Hardback and ebook)
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • Page Length: 531 pages
  • Genre: Historical Fiction

The Blurb:

England, 1459.

One family united by blood. Torn apart by war…

The Wars of the Roses storm through the country, and Cecily Neville, Duchess of York, plots to topple the weak-minded King Henry VI from the throne.

But when the Yorkists are defeated at the battle of Ludford Bridge, Cecily’s family flee and abandon her to face a marauding Lancastrian army on her own.

Stripped of her lands and imprisoned in Tonbridge Castle, the Duchess begins to spin a web of deceit. One that will eventually lead to treason, to the fall of King Henry VI, and to her eldest son being crowned King Edward IV.

Buy Links: 

Amazon UK ✔ Amazon US ✔ Amazon CA   Amazon AU  
Barnes and Noble  Waterstones  Kobo ✔ Audio  Blackwells ✔ WHSmith  

'The Queen's Rival' - Front Cover

'The Queen's Rival' - Excerpt:

Duchess Cecily takes the King to task in Reading Abbey, September 1464

Edward, King of England, stood before me.

‘Where is she?’

‘Who?’

‘Do not be obtuse, Edward.’

I could not address him as Ned. There was no maternal affection within me.

His eyes widened with just the hint of the temper that he rarely showed to me.

‘You refer to my wife, Madam.’

A little silence fell, broken only by a squawk from the popinjay that had been consigned to the corner of the room. I ignored the wine poured and presented to me. Rejected the delicacy of fried fig pastries he had ordered to sweeten my mood. There would be no sweetening here.

‘What have you done, Edward? What in God’s name have you done?’

Replacing the cup on the salver, my son stood foursquare before me. He had known that he would have to face this conversation with me. They said that he was charismatic in his treatment of women. There was no doubting it. His smile could have melted winter ice.

‘I have entered into a marriage. Was that not what you had been commanding me to do since the day that I became King?’

The truth of this stirred my anger to a new level of heat.

‘I am finding it difficult to choose my words. You have married a commoner, a woman of no connection, a woman already wed, with a family of her own, and so defiled. A Queen of England should be a spotless virgin, not a widow. I can barely believe the truth of it, that you should have embarked on so misguided a policy.’

‘I regret that you are so dismissive of my choice of wife.’ How smooth he was. How adult. I remembered that he was now two and twenty years old. ‘Not one word to wish us happy. I might have hoped for more.’

At least his smile had waned.

‘Happy is not a concept for a King when entering into matrimony,’ I replied. ‘Did you not think? Did you not stop and consider before you committed the deed? As King of England you had your choice of European women of high birth. Bona of Savoy would have been the perfect match. Your children would be magnificently connected to the best blood of England and France. Here was a chance to tie France into an alliance which would defeat the Lancastrians for ever. Since, without a reply, Edward picked up his own cup and drank, I continued.

‘Instead you have chosen a woman who will give you no advantage, and in so doing you have antagonised Warwick, humiliated King Louis, horrified your Council. And if that were not enough you have angered the bedrock of your Yorkist followers whose blood has been spilt in our cause on the battlefield. They think that you have betrayed them by this marriage. Surely I and your father raised you to see the value of making and keeping friends in political circles. You have destroyed so much goodwill. It will serve you badly if King Louis, feeling thwarted by your inexplicable volte-face, promptly gives his support to Queen Marguerite and furnishes her with French troops to win the throne back for her son. We could have a French army landing on our shores within months, and it will be entirely your own fault.’

Which at last prompted my son into some level of response.

‘You take no account of the reason why I asked that she would wed me. It is very clear to anyone who knows me well, and who knows the lady. I fell in love. I wed her because I did not wish to live without her.’

His features were alight with it. I would not be persuaded.

‘Love! It is an embarrassment.’

And there again was the flash of temper in his eyes as they held mine without any sense of regret.

‘I love her! Did I not appreciate the problems surrounding this marriage? I am neither ignorant or naive, but the moment I set eyes on Mistress Grey, my heart was hers, as hers was mine. I wed her because I wished to spend my life with her. I know that she will be an unimpeachable Queen.’

His confidence was disquieting. 'You say that you are not naive. This marriage was the opportunity to make that one single irrevocable alliance with a European power through the hand of a foreign Princess. Instead you have thrown it away on a family of little renown. Rivers, a man of meagre nobility. Jacquetta, it is true, the daughter of some distant branch of the family of Luxembourg, but it does not make amends for Woodville’s less than glorious birth.’

‘I care not.’

‘You should care. A King, particularly a new King with a kingdom to take in hand, should wed a virgin, a woman of pure reputation. It is not acceptable for you to wed a widow.’

My son’s face was wiped clean of any expression, but he was not lost for words.

‘It’s always an education to hear your views of my character, Madam.’ Edward, opening the door for me to depart, bowed with a perfect degree of respect, denied by his closing words.

‘I hope you will change your mind. In the interest of harmony in my household. If you will not, then I fear that you will be the loser.’

Before the door closed behind me, all I heard was the popinjay’s shriek, startled by some reaction from within the room. Edward laughed. The popinjay had more effect on him than I.

All was clear, like iron nails hammered into a coffin. Elizabeth Woodville would be Queen of England. I had been supplanted by a woman for whom I had no respect.

At some point I would have to meet her.

What a game that would be to play out. Queen versus King’s Mother.
Anne O'Brien

Author Bio:

Sunday Times Bestselling author Anne O’Brien was born in West Yorkshire. After gaining a BA Honours degree in History at Manchester University and a Master’s in Education at Hull, she lived in East Yorkshire for many years as a teacher of history.

Today she has sold over 700,000 copies of her books medieval history novels in the UK and internationally. She lives with her husband in an eighteenth-century timber-framed cottage in the depths of the Welsh Marches in Herefordshire. The area provides endless inspiration for her novels which breathe life into the forgotten women of medieval history.

Connect with Anne O’Brien:

Website ✔ Twitter  Facebook  LinkedIn  Pinterest  

[Blog Tour] 'The Queen's Rival' By Anne O'Brien #HistoricalFiction #Medieval
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